Vevo’s Kevin McGurn On ‘Ubiquitous Distribution’

Vevo’s Kevin McGurn On ‘Ubiquitous Distribution’

Video hosting service Vevo’s global president of sales and distribution Kevin McGurn discussed the moves the company made in order to attract a larger audience during his keynote speech at the Future of TV Advertising event on Wednesday.

McGurn spoke about the changes that the evolution of technology introduced into the music video service industry, pointing out that since 2006 there hasn’t been a worldwide broadcaster. The reason for that has to do with personal preference.

“That happened, because everyone in this room, table by table, if you tuned in to a given network that talks about music, you wouldn’t watch the same hour of TV. Music is a heavily personal choice. And with the controls that the internet gave you, namely YouTube, it made no sense. It made no rating sense to program music videos on an hourly basis when you can replace it with very cheap, very profitable reality television,” said McGurn.

Moving forward, he talked about how Vevo approached local markets, taking the time to study the music habits of different audiences.

“When we went into various countries, we tried to find the relative popularity of not just music in general, because it’s popular everywhere you go. And not just Western music, or, you know, popular super global superstars. But what did the local music scene look like? What is the relative popularity of your content in that region that you’re analysing for expansion? And so we studied that very, very quickly.

“And we had a big leg up on the rest of the competition because all these videos are available on YouTube. And they’re available in perpetuity, right? So we could measure very quickly by artist, genre, catalogue, etc., what the popularity was in any given region. And that will tell you that our content via YouTube and then other services like Apple and Roku and Samsung and Amazon reaches between 25-33% of every country’s population where we clear rights. That’s 55 different countries around the world.

“So it’s a heavily popular genre of content. But as you go through those regions, what are the popular shifts? So you have to study it, you have to understand what your progress looks like going into it. And what are your viewers doing to find your content?”

McGurn made three important notes towards all those in the audience, saying it was key to understand what audiences are searching for, what they’re doing to find it and what the relative strength of the content is when compared to the competition.

Speaking specifically about Vevo’s strategy, McGurn said that they went for a “ubiquitous distribution” approach, which was a big surprise to many. However, as he said, it made sense for them to do so.

“So for us ubiquitous distribution is about putting videos in the neighbourhoods that people frequent. And where fans can watch and find their favourite artists. And that’s something that’s very different from a lot of (other) content types.

“But I’ll tell you, give yourself a minute and think about all of the time, money and technology that all of those distribution partners spend to gather an audience, and then think about how much time you spend, and how much money you spent to gather audiences, what’s the balance of building your own walled garden versus distributing where people are going to watch, it’s something to consider.

“And it might be for the library, it might be for a certain show for a sporting event. But broadening that reach is serving the advertising buyers in the room, and giving them the thing that they desperately need: people to sell their products to.”

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