Vevo goes German without YouTube

jayzMusic video site Vevo is launching its service in Germany without YouTube as a partner.

The venture, which is controlled by Vivendi’s Universal Music and Sony, has signed a licensing deal with Gema, the German publishing rights collecting society that is currently locked in a dispute with Google’s YouTube.

Vevo’s move into Europe’s largest music market is the first time that the venture has gone into a new territory on its own. In the US and other countries where Vevo already operates, it works in partnership with YouTube.

Google has been fighting Gema since 2009 over how much it should pay copyright holders for streaming songs. The stalemate means that German YouTube users are blocked from seeing tens of thousands of music videos from both local and international artists that are represented by the collecting society.

Vevo was born on YouTube and the Google-owned platform remains its key global distribution partner. However, Vevo has increasingly been trying to attract viewers to its own sites and applications, where it can keep 100 per cent of the advertising revenues. By going into Germany alone, Vevo is attempting to establish itself as a global brand in its own right.

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