Music Video Upstart Vevo Has Done Something MTV Never Did

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At our IGNITION conference, Vevo’s CEO Rio Caraeff revealed his company has paid out $200 million in royalties to musicians.Of that, $100 million went to artists this year, making it Vevo’s best year ever for paying musicians.

This, Caraeff reminded us, is something that MTV never did for artists. When it got big playing music videos, it never paid musicians directly. (Musicians were indirectly paid through album sales that increased as people saw the videos.)

Vevo is the music video upstart that’s owned by music labels. It does billions of streams on a monthly basis.

So far, it’s 100% ad supported. We asked Caraeff if he planned on branching out to other revenue streams. For now, he wants to keep the site focused on music videos and ad-based revenue.

Update: An MTV spokesman reached out to say, “Over the last 30 years we’ve paid tens of millions of dollars for access to music videos and songs for our shows.”

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