Google and Universal Music Group last week announced Vevo, a music video site that will feature Universal's music videos running on YouTube technology. I use YouTube as my primary source of watching music videos, and I'm not convinced that I, personally, need a Vevo-like site in my life.
That doesn't mean there isn't room for a site like this. Vevo could still become a great site--but not if it just streams music videos. Here are five features that I'd like to see on Vevo at launch:
1. High-quality video Whenever you try to watch music videos on sites other than MTV.com, the video quality is usually poor. But if Vevo offers outstanding video quality, it will certainly make pople notice. If you're going to a site to watch music videos, wouldn't you expect them to look good? Yeah, me too.
2. An awesome community I love reading comments on YouTube. Popular music videos have hundreds, if not thousands, of comments from both fans and haters alike who want everyone to know their opinions. Vevo needs a community like that to be successful. Watching music videos is fine, but if Vevo really wants to keep people coming back, allowing them to comment is a must. There's a reason why most sites allow users to post comments; they keep people interested in content they've already consumed. That's what Vevo needs.
3. A voting mechanism Wouldn't it be great if Vevo had a voting mechanism that let us decide which videos were good? Similar to Digg, people would be able to vote on the quality of the songs and videos. The videos could be filtered by release date or by the number of votes they have, so people can find the most popular videos at any time. Deploying a voting mechanism could help Vevo become the New Age Billboard chart, informing the world of the top songs at any time. And it would definitely help artists determine what we really like. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think it could mean better music.
4. More content Vevo needs a lot of content to be successful. That's only possible if Universal Music can join forces with its competition. It might be tough, but considering most of the major TV networks teamed up on Hulu, why can't the music industry follow suit? In a conference call with the media Thursday, Universal Music CEO Doug Morris said he's negotiating with other top record labels and is confident they will join. For Vevo's sake, he better be right.
5. Embedding This one might be a long shot, but I believe that if the music industry really wants to be successful on the Web, it needs to embrace its users. And one of the best ways to do that is by allowing them to embed music videos on their own sites. The music industry has historically been suspect of consumers. But to be a successful video streaming site, the content needs to go wherever the visitors want to take it. Without embeds, Vevo will be criticized for being yet another example of the music industry just not "getting" the Web. A similar stigma was placed on the television industry until Hulu started providing embed code and the option to send its content to Facebook, Delicious, and a variety of other social networks. Vevo must follow suit to be successful.
Anything I might have missed? Anything you'd like to see in Vevo? Let me know in the comments.