While MTV strayed from its music video focus long ago, there’s still a huge market for music videos online, and CBS Radio wants to get its share.
Enter Looped, a new streaming video platform from the legacy broadcast TV channel’s online arm, CBS Local Digital Media. The streamers’ three channels, featuring urban, pop, and country music provide an uninterrupted live stream of music videos, news and artist interviews.
Unlike the biggest provider of videos online, YouTube, the service is being positioned as primarily a “lean-back” viewing experience, meaning that viewers largely can’t choose which music video to watch. However, there will be an option to either watch the feed, or skip through a small selection of curated content to pick your poison.
“Music continues to be the most popular of all online videos, garnering billions of monthly impressions worldwide,” said CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz in a statement. “This naturally engaging form of entertainment is a proven way to reach consumers and deliver effective advertising messages. Each year, we have expanded the amount of original video we create which will serve as a perfect complement to the music videos consumers are already enjoying.”
Looped is powered by Vadio, a Portland, Oregon-based music video start-up. While certainly not a household name, the startup employs some big players on its board of advisors, including former Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff, and also employs former Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment president Yair Landau as its new chairman and COO, according to Billboard.
Looped isn’t positioned as a direct competitor to YouTube or Vevo as it doesn’t allow viewers to choose exactly which music videos to watch. That being said, CBS is certainly hoping to replicate at least some of the success of the ubiquitous platform from Google, which is one of the biggest players in the industry. It’s difficult to predict whether users will be willing to watch a pre-selected stream of video content, but the “lean-back” approach has had success in the online radio realm with Pandora and other Internet radio services.