Vevo to launch in Germany without YouTube as it secures GEMA deal

By | Published on Monday 2 September 2013


Music video website Vevo will be able to test just how able it is to exist without its launch partner YouTube when it arrives in Germany later this year; because – for tedious legal reasons – it will launch in the country without the Google-owned video platform as a route to market.

In Germany YouTube has had a long battle with the country’s publishing sector collecting society GEMA, which claims the Google-owned video site doesn’t offer a fair royalty arrangement to publishers and songwriters. As a result the music video element of YouTube has been hugely limited in the region.

Vevo, of course, is co-owned by the Universal and Sony music companies (with some other investors, including Google), and now makes its library of music videos and other content available via various platforms and apps, though is still probably best known as a massive YouTube channel, the Google-owned video-sharing site being its original home.

This means that many people still mainly stumble across Vevo content via the YouTube home page or search box, rather than visiting any of the digital music firm’s proprietary platforms. But the music video company has been busy expanding and promoting its other channels to become less reliant on YouTube, even though it did recently renew its partnership with the Google company.

In Germany the Google/GEMA stand-off has prevented Vevo from utilising the YouTube channel. But, according to the Financial Times, the Vevo company – which generally pays out higher royalties than YouTube itself – has done a deal directly with GEMA, and will launch in Germany via its own website and apps.

Vevo’s Senior VP International Nic Jones told the FT: “This is a very different launch from the ones we’ve done before”. If a success, the German launch may well give Vevo more confidence in going it alone in other territories, though obviously the limited supply of music videos on YouTube in the country will help; in many other markets YouTube has become the default destination for music videos (and, for many, just music).