Brightcove is announcing this morning that EMI Music has chosen the Brightcove platform to power its online video initiatives corporate-wide. According to Brightcove, the EMI deal means that all of the big 4 music industry groups, including Sony, Universal, and Warner, are now using its platform. Shifting to a heavy-duty platform like Brightcove is further proof that the music industry is getting more ambitious about its online opportunities.
While there has been much coverage over the years of illegal music downloading, online video on the other hand has become a big friend to the music business and to artists in particular, opening up new monetization and promotion opportunities. Music videos specifically are a key revenue opportunity for labels, through advertising and by licensing to 3rd parties for their distribution. Live streaming concerts, complete with behind-the-scenes extras have become extremely popular. Social media, online playlists and video sharing have all contributed to music purchase/download behavior. Going forward, the growth of video-enabled mobile devices (e.g. iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.) that make on-the-go playback and shared viewing the norm provides more momentum.
According to eMarketer, consumer spending on music is set to increase 11.4% annually over the next 4 years to $4.56 million in 2013, with all of the growth forecast to come from online. Most of this is assumed to come from a shift to subscription, cloud-based music services, and I would anticipate music videos and concerts playing a larger role going forward as well.
Though the specific business models are still evolving, I think that music videos have a long way to run. The recent launch of Vevo, by Sony, Universal and YouTube, and its almost immediate rise to the top 10 most popular video sites (32.3 million unique viewers in January according to comScore) is fresh evidence of how much users like online music video access. Music videos are the perfect format for today's online video user because they are short-form, can be played while performing other tasks and can be shared easily. When convergence devices that bridge broadband all the way to the TV become widespread, then longer-form programs will increase in popularity; until then music videos are in the sweet spot.
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