John Paczkowski

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Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff: We Made $150 Million Last Year

When it first debuted in 2009, Vevo aspired to be a “Hulu for music.” Today, it’s exactly that: the second largest video property on the Web in the U.S., a title that — you guessed it — was once held by Hulu.

Further evidence of the company’s success: The impressive financials announced by Vevo president and CEO Rio Caraeff during an onstage interview at our D: Dive Into Media conference.

“In the last year alone we’ve generated over $150 million,” said Caraeff. “We paid the labels about $100 million (over the last 2 years). So we’re making money.”

An impressive feat for such a young company. How did Vevo pull it off? By not holding back its content.

“Our strategy was never to create value through scarcity,” Caraeff said. “We feel the Web is about choice and empowering people to go where they want. With Vevo we wanted to facilitate access. So you go to YouTube and you can find Vevo. Go to facebook, you find Vevo. It’s about ubiquity on the Web.”

Mobile is another point of access. Xbox is yet another.

“Our business is only as interesting as it is large,” said Caraeff. “If we want to reach a lot people, we need to be in a lot of places.”

So just how big is Vevo’s business? Pretty big.

“From a volume perspective our growth has been tremendous,” said Caraeff. “We had 300 million global views per month when we launched. Today we’re seeing 3.5 billion views per month. That’s about 42 billion views per year.”

So what’s Vevo’s next move? Will it pursue a linear strategy, head to cable?

“It’s unlikely that we’ll start a cable channel from scratch or buy a cable company in distress,” said Caraeff. “But I think we’ll have linear experiences on the TV all powered by Vevo.”

Rio Caraeff Session Photos

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