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Is a Katy Perry Video as Good for Marketers as 'Deadliest Catch'?

Vevo Stacks New Music Videos Against Traditional TV -- but There Are Caveats

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Katy Perry in her 'E.T.' music video
Katy Perry in her 'E.T.' music video Credit: Capitol

Is a new Katy Perry video just as good for marketers hunting viewers as the highest-rated episode of "Deadliest Catch"?

That's the pitch music-video site Vevo is making to advertisers, citing research that pits its most-watched music video premieres against some popular TV shows.

As YouTube's most popular channel, Vevo is one of the few video sites that can tout TV-like reach and make a solid case.

Vevo says Katy Perry's "E.T." video reached 4.5 million views by its fifth day, for example, enough for it to surpass top-rated episodes of Lifetime's "Project Runway" and Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" in total viewers. Ubisoft sponsored the video on Vevo to promote its game "Just Dance 2," in which Ms. Perry is a featured performer.

Britney Spears' "I Wanna Go," sponsored by Sunkist and Chevrolet, reached nearly 2.5 million viewers over its first five days in June, which could stack it up against an MTV scripted series like "Awkward" in the kind of comparison Vevo is making. (For more on top music videos' Vevo views this year, see the chart below.)

There are, however, some significant caveats. It took days for even the most popular new videos on Vevo this year to accumulate the kind of viewer numbers that a respectable cable show provides in one day.

There are also only so many new videos by top performers such as Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Vevo is only allowing one or two sponsors per video, using a combination of pre-roll, banner and display-ad inventory. There's a lot more commercial time available on TV.

But the numbers on Vevo are still significant. And TV advertisers are often buying viewers over a period of time anyway, not a single day. "If you're buying a particular program on TV, you're buying that one show and sometimes multiple airings of it, so brands are typically buying impressions within a week," said David Kohl, Vevo's exec VP-sales and customer operations.

Vevo is also using data from NPD to show how high an artist's videos can index among target audiences such as 18- to 34-year-old women. Next, Mr. Kohl is seeking an agency partner to sign up for a video engagement test to see how video premieres work across four or five of that agency's clients. The site is also experimenting with teaser trailers for its music video premieres, which will also be open to sponsors. A trailer for OK Go's "Muppet Show Theme Song" is an early example.

Vevo's other recent sponsored premieres include Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory," sponsored by Chevrolet; Selena Gomez's "Love You Like a Love Song" (Acuvue); David Guetta's "Where Them Girls at" (HTC); and Beyonce's "Best Thing I Never Had" (Target ).

Views for top music videos on Vevo in their first five days
Views for top music videos on Vevo in their first five days Credit: Vevo
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