Back to the future? Everything old is new again?
Today Vevo, the “web’s No. 1 platform for music,” took a giant step away from YouTube, where its viewers consume most of its content. It took a giant step away from the web, too, and a big step back toward broadcast TV, announcing that Vevo TV will be an always-on broadcast-style music and video channel available exclusively on its own website and apps, plus Roku.
The new channel will feature music videos, of course, as well as live concerts and artist interviews, and Vevo promises exclusives and new, original music alongside old classics. No algorithms here determining what “the audience” wants: This will all be hand-programmed by real humans, Vevo says.
Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice in Wonderland said. Old-fashioned, even.
But Vevo has a method in the madness and magic in the formula. When everyone’s watching everything and nothing is particularly “on,” there’s a definite lack of shared experience, shared reality, and shared community that those of us over the age of 30 once knew. It’s the special something that happens when the Super Bowl is on and you know everyone’s watching and engaged in the same event.
“Just like TV!” as VEVO says.
Except, of course, it’s better, because it’s on your phone, your tablet, or your computer. And anything you want to watch but can’t quite fit in just now can be saved, PVR-style, to a “watch it later” playlist. But the TV-like part is that it’s a curated experience that you are, presumably, watching at the same time as thousands or millions of other people.
And that it’s a lean-back experience, as Vevo is at pains to make clear. Where the contemporary web and app focused media scene is lean-forward, “channel” surfing, switching from clip to clip to clip, Vevo TV is intended to be more relaxing, more enjoyable, and more able to consumed in the living room as well as the bus or train. In other words, from millions of frenetic monkeys clicking frantically on billions of 30-second or two-minute videos, to chilling out and relaxing to music and video.
The new Vevo TV is available today for the U.S. and Canada, with additional countries coming, as always, “soon.”