Vevo officially released its Android app on Wednesday in response to what CEO Rio Caraeff described as strong consumer demand. “We literally got thousands of consumer requests per week” for an Android app, he told me during a phone conversation.
Vevo’s Android app follows in the footsteps of its iPhone and iPad applications, which have proven to be very successful for the major-label music video site: Caraeff said that Vevo has seen some 50 million video views through its iOS apps in the past 90 days. It has also clocked a total of 3 million installs across all iOS devices. The iPhone application was first released in August 2010, and the iPad app became available in December.
Currently, about 20 percent of all iOS installs are on the iPad. However, Caraeff said the iPad app user base is growing more quickly, and that the tablet is leading to more interaction on the small screen. People watch twice as many videos per session on the iPad than on the iPhone or iPod touch, he said.
The first step to repeat its success story on Android is to add some of the more advanced features available on Vevo’s iOS app today. Caraeff said music maps and other location-based features as well as tour dates will be part of an update to be released over the next few weeks. The next step will be to specifically target Android tablets: “Our app is optimized for large screen Android devices today,” explained Caraeff, adding that it was tested on the Samsung Galaxy Tab. However, in the future, we could see a dedicated Android tablet app, much in the same way that Vevo has targeted the iPad with a dedicated app that’s different from the iPhone app.
Vevo is also working on apps for WP7, Blackberry and Nokia phones, and it’s looking to extend its reach in the connected device space. The site is currently available on Google TV and Boxee, and Caraeff hinted at further partnership announcements in the coming months. However, he didn’t seem to have any illusions about consumer demand in this space. “We see it as an investment in the future,” he told me.
Embracing mobile and connected devices has proven to be challenging for many online video platforms. Rights holders frequently restrict the viewing of their videos to the PC screen, leaving consumers confused and disappointed. However, Vevo’s entire catalog is available on all supported devices. Caraeff said that this was a key component of the way Vevo structured its business from the onset. “We knew at the very beginning that everything would be connected to the Internet,” he said.
Convincing rights holders of this vision and licensing the rights across all devices did require some arm wrestling. “It was very difficult and very time-consuming,” Caraeff told me, adding: “But it was the right thing to do for the consumer.” It certainly seems to be paying off for Vevo.
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