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Vevo looks to cash in with new paid subscription service

Music video portal Vevo is planning to jump into the subscription streaming game with a paid, ad-free tier coming as soon as this year, according to a recent interview with CEO Erik Huggers at the Code/Media conference.

The service, which currently gets 17 billion views per month on dozens of internet platforms, is looking to break out of its ad-supported platform where monetization of views is limited simply to the number of people watching. Adding a paid tier could greatly increase revenue for the service, if Vevo can create content that users would be willing to pay for.

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The idea has been in consideration at the company since Huggers became its head honcho last April, after a stint working at Verizon.

“Just having an ad-supported model is not sustainable in the long run,” he said of the service, which is co-owned by Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Google, among others.

As far as what the paid tier will look like, Huggers says the company is focused on creating, “A specialty store that only focuses on music, that does justice to music, caters to the audience, offers curation and offers a better experience than what I would call the lowest common denominator of content.”

Vevo has been working steadily to increase its own original programming of late, even going so far as to hire ex-Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt to develop and operate its content.

But regardless of what happens when the company adds a paid tier, Vevo will by no means get rid of the current ad-based content, according to Huggers.  “There will absolutely be a free Vevo” alongside its new paid option.

Despite the announcement, the CEO offered no official word on when the new option will emerge for consumers, leading many to believe the added service will not hit consumers until at least the last half of the year.