YouTube and Universal Music Group, the nation’s largest recording company, are in talks to enter a partnership that would create a new music video hub powered by YouTube.
Under the partnership, Universal would use YouTube technology and ad sales to distribute content around the Web, according to Cnet sources.
The hub, which has the working title “Vevo”, would allow Mountain View-based Google to sell higher priced ads around the professional music videos.
Should an agreement be reached, Vevo would likely be the largest music-oriented site online. Talks are ongoing, but a deal could be reached as early as the next few weeks, sources said.
The source did not confirm if other major music companies were also working on a deal with Google.
If the music hub gets support from Universal and the other labels, it will be similar to MySpace Music, a joint venture between MySpace and the four major music labels -- Universal, Warner, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Group -- which launched last year.
On YouTube, Universal's channel is by far the largest on the video site with its music videos being watched more than 3.5 billion times.
Vevo and the joint venture with YouTube comes after a year-long campaign by Doug Morris, Universal's chairman and CEO, to build music videos into a standalone business.
More and more people are spending time online for videos and music. Internet users viewed 14.8 billion online videos during the month, representing an increase of 4 percent versus December 2008, according to ComScore.
YouTube led the growth surge, accounting for 91 percent of the gain in the number of videos viewed versus December and surpassed 100 million viewers for the first time.