Vevo and MTV remain deadlocked over the key issue of which will control the watch-page real estate surrounding the player, MTV arguing that giving up ownership would set an unwelcome precedent.
This Week, Our In-House Pundit Deals With the Vevo-MTV Stand-off, the IGA-Idol Hook-up, the Rolf Question, the Apple-Amazon Détente Over Arcade Fire and Irving Azoff's New Following
Many were surprised when UMG started pulling its video catalog off MTV Networks’ online platforms last week after negotiations between the Rio Caraeff-led Vevo and the Van Toffler-helmed MTVN broke down. But the seeds were sown for this aggressive move last December, when UMG and Sony Music, one of its partners in Doug Morris’ brainchild, along with Abu Dhabi Media, agreed that Vevo would thereafter be the two companies’ exclusive video representative. Implicit in the agreement was that Vevo would handle the renegotiation of all existing licensing deals with the online entities that used their content, including MTVN. The UMG-MTV deal reportedly was up Aug. 1 (though MTV insiders claim it’s been month-to-month since last December), and Vevo had told the network it wanted Universal’s videos removed if a deal weren’t done by that date. But the two parties were still deadlocked over the key issue of which would control the watch-page real estate surrounding the player, MTV arguing that giving up ownership would set an unwelcome precedent. Coincidentally or not, this showdown began soon after MTV and Warner Music finalized their new video deal, wherein Warner is using MTV to generate ad revenue much as UMG and Sony are using Vevo. While WMG’s MTV deal is non-exclusive, the issue behind Warner’s refusal to join Vevo remains a mystery. The MTV-Vevo negotiations are ongoing, and most expect that an agreement will eventually be reached… Either way—and despite the lingering industry perception that UMG and Vevo are one and the same—Vevo will be handling Sony’s renegotiations with MTVN when that deal is up. If the new Vevo/UMG-MTV agreement isn’t done by the time Sony’s deal expires, will Vevo pull Sony’s videos as well?... What has gone unreported in the days since Vevo pulled down UMG's content is that spins of clips by some UMG acts have simultaneously dropped precipitously on the MTV, VH1 and CMT cable channels, the result of MTVN’s inability to secure the online rights for its integrated on-air/Internet campaigns. The acts suffering the most from this impasse are those participating in the various MTVN new-and-developing-artist 360 programs—known as Push on MTV’s channels and You Oughta Know on those of VH1. These, of course, are the acts that can least afford to disappear from the most-watched music-video broadcast channels, even if most of the eyeballs are now trained on the ad-supported online platforms… In other UMG action, the new deal between IGA and American Idol looks like an extremely good fit, assuming that Jimmy Iovine plays a hands-on role in the long-running show’s next chapter. The show is currently revamping under returning producer Nigel Lythgoe, with new judges yet to be brought in to replace Ellen DeGeneres, who has definitely split, and Kara DioGuardi, rumored to be out. Already Jennifer Lopez has bowed out of the hunt, with observers blaming manager Benny Medina’s exorbitant demands, while leading candidate Steven Tyler has yet to officially join the show. Other candidates being bandied about include Shania Twain and Jessica Simpson. Iovine should fit in well at this transitional moment to help usher in Idol’s anticipated new feel. He is ideally suited to change the game by applying his legendary A&R skills to the show. In short, he could be the X factor in its reinvention… The current contract of Sony Music chief Rolf Schmidt-Holtz is up in seven months, and thus far there has been no indication from Sony corporate which way it’s leaning, though recent rumors have Schmidt-Holtz making his exit well before next March. No matter who is chosen to lead the company, the biggest challenge will be to resolve the longstanding chasm separating the corporate cultures of its two chief components—something Schmidt-Holtz was unable to do, which is precisely why most observers expect him to be replaced… Roughly two-thirds of the 143k Arcade Fire albums sold in its first week were digital, with Amazon MP3, which had the LP priced at $3.99 through the weekend, selling nearly as many as iTunes, which had it at $9.99. The Merge release broke the Amazon MP3 record, which had been held by U2’s No Line on the Horizon in a similar Daily Deal… Interestingly, Apple chose not to pull back on the album’s visibility at the iTunes Store, as it had allegedly done with some previous releases participating in the Daily Deal. One theory is that Apple didn’t want to give further ammunition to the DOJ, which is looking into allegations that iTunes has used its online-retail dominance to muscle competitors… Twitter-ophiles are noting that Irving Azoff’s much-viewed public calling out of rival Randy Phillips, citing the AEG Live boss’ perceived chronic inability to tell the truth, sets a new standard for gloves-off candor from a corporate leader… Names in the Rumor Mill: Sumner Redstone, L.A. Reid, Simon Cowell, Michael Rapino, Paul McGuinness, Mac McCaughan and Gary Stiffelman.
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We're full of it.
Getting global with it.
And this time it's not from our bong.
Shorter videos! Weirder trends!

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