Google Inc's YouTube and Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, said on Thursday they will launch a premium music video website as they bid to increase revenue from YouTube's huge usage.
The new site will be called Vevo and is expected to launch in coming months, the companies said. Plans for Vevo come in addition to the renewal and extension of YouTube's rights deal to feature video content from Universal artists such as U2, 50 Cent and Kanye West.
Universal Music is owned by French media group Vivendi.
Vevo will be a premium online music video hub designed to offer higher-quality videos, as opposed to the typical grainy and often user-generated videos on YouTube. The idea is for Vevo to attract more big-name advertisers and other content owner partners.
Universal and YouTube will share advertising revenue generated by the site. Both sides will be betting that building a premium site will help increase advertising rates. Many big brand owners have avoided advertising alongside YouTube's mix of user-generated videos.
Vevo will also serve as a syndication platform as YouTube and Universal expand the reach of the Vevo brand, the companies said.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)