Vevo is heading into the annual spring ad haggle looking to convince advertisers the online music video platform should be considered alongside more traditional TV buys.
Vevo is riding a wave in connected TV growth, with CTV revenue surging to 40% of its revenue in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a mere 4% in the first quarter of 2020, with much of it fueled by audiences kept home during the pandemic. Now, the company is set to capitalize on the trend by selling inventory around a steady, exclusive content stream of music videos from world-famous artists.
“The hard part is to recondition the marketplace to think of us as a place to go for TV,” says Andrea Zapata, VP of West Coast sales, Vevo. To the end, Vevo is using data and insights from its online audiences to program long-form viewing sessions for CTV that are similar to traditional linear TV–and selling the ad inventory on an addressable basis.
Vevo says it began shifting to CTV in 2019 after noticing a change in audience behavior. This shift in strategy came just as the pandemic and its ensuing stay-at-home orders turbocharged CTV consumption. “We understood there was a sea change that was happening with consumer behavior,” Zapata says. “Not only was our audience already shifting to the living room, but we also had an opportunity to take the traditionally digital sales teams, and because we’re small and nimble, move them in a direction where they can speak more about convergence, not just digital sellers but more about living room and TV extensions.”
The company sees peak living room audience during weekends and primetime hours, says Vevo. The company has apps exclusively on over-the-top devices and set-top boxes, including Roku, Pluto TV, and Samsung TV Plus. (Vevo discontinued its mobile apps in 2018.) YouTube also remains a considerable portion of its audience.