Details of who owns how much of Vevo have long been a subject shrouded in secrecy – but now we have a piece of the puzzle.
Universal Music Group increased its ownership stake in the online music video platform last year from 48% to 49%, MBW has discovered.
Vivendi placed a value on this equity holding of just €76m ($83m) – which would give Vevo a surprisingly small overall valuation of €155m ($169m).
The major music company’s fellow stakeholders in Vevo are Sony Music Entertainment, thought to be the other majority share owner, in addition to Google and Abu Dhabi Media.
Vevo was reported to be on the block for a sale in 2014, but failed to find a buyer – ultimately because the amount it was paying in licensing fees to co-owners Sony and Universal didn’t make sense for potential acquirers.
The business, which boasts more than 18bn monthly global views, has confirmed that it will launch a subscription tier, which seems likely to arrive before the end of this year.
Vevo is yet to strike a licensing deal with Warner Music Group, but Erik Huggers, appointed CEO of the company in August last year, remains hopeful.
The company made its first acquisition in December last year, buying online video platform and monetisation tool ShowYou.
Huggers told the Code Media conference earlier this month: “We’ve got a phenomenal sales force who knocked it out of the park in 2015, the biggest year in Vevo history. We want to build on that strength. The second piece would be a pay model.”
The former BBC iPlayer exec added: “There will be free Vevo… but we think just having an ad-supported model is not sustainable in the long run.”Music Business Worldwide