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The past decade may have been tough for the music industry, but thanks to online video, times have arguably never been better for the music video.

On YouTube, for instance, music videos represent one of the most popular content categories, and some of the most popular music videos have racked up hundreds of millions of views.

In an effort to capitalize on the popularity of the music video, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and the Abu Dhabi Media Company formed a joint venture called VEVO, which was launched in late 2009.

Lately, there have been rumblings that VEVO was looking to ditch its biggest technology partner, Google's YouTube, and form an alliance with Google rival  Facebook. And now there's reason to believe the rumors might be true.

As reported by TheNextWeb, VEVO is informing users that very shortly, they won't be able to register or login except through Facebook. An email sent to existing VEVO users has the subject "The new VEVO.com is coming" and reads in part, "as part of the new VEVO we will be offering account registration only through Facebook." It adds, "If you'd like to save any playlists you have already created, please visit your current VEVO account and connect it with Facebook today or sometime in the next 7 days."

While a break-up with YouTube could have been written off as being too risky given the amount of traffic YouTube delivers to VEVO, the email seems to indicate that such a break-up is imminent.

That is good news for Facebook, bad news for Google but even worse news for users.

Yes, it's understandable that VEVO would want access to the social graphs of its users to create more personalized experiences, but at the end of the day, a deal that requires VEVO users to register and login through Facebook seems like the type of deal only a stereotypical MBA with no real understanding of the internet would cook up. It's almost as if some executive at VEVO looking to put his or her name on a big deal agreed to this without thinking through the ramifications of effectively reducing VEVO to a Facebook app.

Needless to say, not everybody is on Facebook and many individuals who are don't want their web activity to be connected to their Facebook accounts. Forcing registrations and logins to go through Facebook therefore makes registering and logging into VEVO a less appealing proposition.

Even more foolish is the apparent haste with which VEVO is moving. The company's email suggests that existing users who don't take action within a short seven day window will lose all of their playlists. Not exactly a brilliant move, unless the company's goal is to annoy its users.

Given the music industry's track record of poor strategy and execution over the past decade, the structure of the apparently impending VEVO-Facebook marriage isn't all that surprising, even if it is still disappointing.

UPDATE: A VEVO spokesman contacted us with the following clarification: 

No plans have been made to implement any form of compulsory login for all users. Although registered fans will have to now login through solely through Facebook, the platform does not require registration to view videos. Fans can still browse the website for free and watch an unlimited number of videos without ever having to log in or register.

Patricio Robles

Published 2 March, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (10)

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Adam Cranfield

Adam Cranfield, Chief Marketing Officer at Mynewsdesk

I'm surprised this piece doesn't include some analysis of how the similar deal is working out for Spotify and Facebook?

over 4 years ago

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Swapnil

I think you misunderstood VEVO's email. It doesn't sound like they are shutting out non-Facebook users (although that makes a better headline), it's just that if you want to create an account and save playlists or use some features, you need to connect via Facebook. Also, there's nothing indicating this is a "deal" with Facebook. Make sure you know what you're talking about before you criticize someone else for having "no real understanding of the internet."

over 4 years ago

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Rufus Evison

Swapnil, i am not a facebook user. How do I connect via Facebook without registering? It is not clea that this is possible, are you sure it can be done? I would like to become a vevo user and therefore to creagte an accouint and save playlists so what should I do? Should I give it up as a bad job as econsulancey suggest is the case (I suspect they are right) or is there another way?

over 4 years ago

Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles, Tech Reporter at Econsultancy

Swapnil,

Apparently you misread this post. Nowhere in it do I claim that you won't be able to access VEVO if you haven't registered through Facebook. Per VEVO's email, you *do* have to register and login through Facebook if you want to register and login.

Finally, I think it would require a lot of naivety to believe that VEVO would force registrations and logins to go through Facebook without a deal, particularly given the fact that discussions between VEVO and Facebook around VEVO ditching YouTube and partnering with Facebook instead have been reported previously.

over 4 years ago

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tMendoza

UGH! Well I think this is just flat out inconsiderate to those who don't care for social networking!! :( Thank you for confirming that vevo is not available to me unless I link it to my facebook profile, it's asking permission to the following....


Your basic info *why it need's this is beyond me*


Your e-mail address


Your profile info: birthday, interests and
likes


Friends' likes **this is also beyond me, makes no sense why they would need access to my friends info if the point of connecting with facebook is for them to create a personalized playlist for "ME"....


Your music activity

Post on your behalf

This app may post on your behalf, including videos you watched, playlists you created and more..
Why is VEVO asking for these permissions?
From VEVO: Our goal is to give you the best video viewing experience possible. These permissions help us to that goal. Nothing but love.

That I copied and pasted directly from the vevo site.... this very disapointing!

over 4 years ago

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Laurent171717

The comment from the person representing VEVO is misleading at best. I connect regularly through my BluRay player on my flatsreen TV to watch YouTube. With the current situation, I can no longer watch VEVO through YouTube and cannot set anything up on my TV to watch VEVO unless I could some way get a BluRay that plays specifically VEVO. The best I can do is plug my HDMI cable directly from my computer to my TV. Too bad these guys don't understand the first rule of integration.

about 4 years ago

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Robert

Good information, and it is very obvious that VEVO is interested in Facebook as a means of spreading the word about their products and services via permission marketing. The more they are connected to your friends, family, etc... with your name attached the more they will be part of your social world experience. You tell two friends, and so on and so on, etc...

Youtube/Google will not be affected by this type of marketing switch as VEVO intentions are money based and restrictive, which is very anti-Internet. Most smart companies are giving users more options. I've never gone to VEVO.com other than by accident and can't see ever going back. Youtube on the other hand is a daily visit, along with my gmail account.

Long live those with good intentions!

about 4 years ago

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M

I don't have a Facebook account and don't think I will ever get one. Apparently I can't use Vevo on my XBOX because it's telling me I need to create an account at vevo.com/xbox, which I can't do without a Facebook account. I'd like to meet the stupid numbskull who came up with that idea.

over 3 years ago

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Hollie

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over 3 years ago

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Lee

This is really not much different than what Google did with YouTube. I had a YouTube account for many years. My comments are still there, yet I can't use my account anymore and have to create a Google account to participate in YouTube. That being said, VEVO doesn't seem to work well at all anymore. The videos freeze and the sound goes out of sync on the PC, which no other YouTube videos do, and the android app is even worse. I hate that a lot of my favorite independent artists are starting to use VEVO and I am stuck mostly watching their live performances filmed with phone cameras.

over 3 years ago

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