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Summary:

YouTube wants to give mobile phone users a chance to find music video content by artist, discography and genre, with the goal of bringing music content to hundreds of millions of its users. These plans could be an answer to Vevo’s mobile music initiatives.

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photo: YouTube

YouTube is looking to expand its role in the mobile music space, making the site’s music videos discoverable by artist and genre on mobile devices, according to a recent job posting on LinkedIn. The Google-owned video site is currently looking for a Technical Program Manager to “launch a mobile music video product,” and it is setting its goals pretty high.

“You will be instrumental in unlocking music content to hundreds of millions YouTube users,” the job description states, adding:

“You will partner with Product Management, Engineering and Content to design new systems from the ground up that will generate millions of new music videos and surface YouTube’s music video catalog by artist, discography, and genre to users on mobile devices for the first time.”

YouTube recently rolled out a new app for the iPhone, which is replacing Apple’s own YouTube app on iOS 6. It is expected to release a dedicated iPad app any day now. These apps mark the first time that YouTube is monetizing mobile content on iOS,  which makes it possible to display music videos from Vevo and other content partners on the platform just as it has been doing on Android.

However, Vevo is a bit of a frenemy in the mobile music space. The major label-owned music video platform distributes its videos through YouTube, but it also has has its own mobile apps for iOS and Android. Videos watched through these mobile apps aren’t streamed by YouTube, and Vevo also monetizes its mobile apps itself. In other words: Google doesn’t get a penny when people view a music video through Vevo’s apps.

YouTube’s music video monetization strategy is in part based on a policy change the site put in place in July. Previously, publishers were able to opt out of displaying their videos on mobile devices. Now, publishers can only block their videos from being displayed without ads – which means that a lot more monetized clips, including numerous music videos, are available on mobile devices.

YouTube’s director of product management Shiva Rajaraman told me at GigaOM’s Mobilize 2012 conference that this was done in part to unify the YouTube exprience, and avoid that some content shows up on mobile while other videos don’t. “It (was) one of the most frustrating experiences around YouTube,” for consumers, he said, adding that it has required a bit of education for publishers. “It’s a paradigm shift for many content owners who think about windowing between different devices,” Rajaraman said.

Check out my entire conversation with Shiva Rajaraman below:

  1. Revolution Video Thursday, September 27, 2012

    YouTube has always been a place to find music, but I wonder if the video giant is trying to move into another space given the strong competition from other hosting sites such as Vimeo, Wistia, etc.

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  2. Nice one

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  3. Sounds like they could acqhire the creators of the Seevl extension for Chrome.

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  4. Watch out Pandora and Spotify?

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