VEVO expands client base in Canada

CTV's Much MTV Group sales team and a VEVO exec discuss the future of music video brand partnerships as 13 brands sign advertising deals.

Music videos are pretty much extinct on television these days, replaced by boisterous reality TV stars or teen dramas. But the medium that revolutionized popular culture with the launch of MTV in 1982 is not dead; it’s just found a new home.

VEVO, an online music-video streaming site that launched last December, is aiming to monetize the genre with a new ad model and sales partnership with Much MTV Group in Canada. Yesterday, it was annouced that 13 brands in Canada have signed on.

Deals with BlackBerry, HP, Mazda and Wind Mobile were annouced by CTV-owned Much MTV Group yesterday, packages that include branded homepage logo placements on; a targeted media schedule that includes the pre-roll, overlay, skinning and standard display units; and an exclusive VEVO video premiere, explains Heather Gordon, digital sales manager, Much MTV Group.

The media buy for HP, which includes a Drake music video premiere this weekend, was handled by PHD in Toronto and the Wind and BlackBerry deals were arranged by Starcom MediaVest Group in Toronto.

Advertising deals for VEVO Canada were also signed with Nintendo, Universal Pictures, Sony Playstation, Cara Foods, Nestle Smarties, Labatt, Prairie Milk Marketing Partnership, Paramount Pictures and Wrigley.

Despite waning viewership on-air, music videos still have big pull with advertisers because of their popularity online, Brad Schwartz, SVP and general manager, Much MTV Group, CTV, tells MiC.

‘It’s a tough environment to schedule music videos in a linear fashion these days, but music videos are the most streamed content on the internet,’ he says. ‘You choose it, you’re engaged with it, you’re watching exactly what you want to watch because you went to seek it out.’

High consumer engagement with the product VEVO offers then translates to higher responsiveness, higher attention levels and higher clickthrough rates for advertisers, says David Kohl, EVP, sales and customer operations, of New York-based VEVO, adding that the clickthrough rates on the site range from a low of 2% to a high of 9% for pre-rolls. He also credits this to minimal promotional ‘clutter’ on the site – 2.5 to three minutes of commercial messaging per hour.

In just over seven months of existence, VEVO has generated 8.5 million monthly unique visitors (according to ComScore data from June 2010). Now the online music channel – created by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and the Abu Dhabi Media Company – is expanding into live events and original programming that will increase engagement and sponsorship opportunities for advertisers, says Kohl.

‘We have a series of six concerts, streaming across the internet, sponsored by Amex here in the US; we’ll look to create similar platforms in Canada,’ Kohl tells MiC.