Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Look Who’s Selling Warner Music’s Videos on YouTube: Veoh’s Sales Team

Last month, Warner Music Group won the right to sell ads on its YouTube videos. Next step: Getting someone to sell ads on its YouTube videos, since the music label doesn’t have its own sales team.

Warner (WMG) is handing those duties over to Outrigger Media, a New York-based rep firm that specializes in Web media (Outrigger’s preferred description: “Internet video sales and marketing firm”), the companies announced today; oddly, Warner’s release goes on and on without even once mentioning Google (GOOG) or YouTube. Go figure.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of Outrigger before this morning, but I had heard of its CEO, Mike Henry, an ad sales veteran who was previously running ad sales for Veoh, one of the many video sites that aimed to become the next YouTube in the past few years. Turns out, Henry is still running ad sales for Veoh–the company has outsourced its ad sales business to Outrigger.

Warner’s strategy is different from the one rival Universal Music is taking with Vevo, the “Hulu for music videos” joint venture it launched with Sony (SNE), with help from YouTube. Vevo is creating its own in-house salesforce, to be led by Nokia (NOK) and and Viacom (VIA) vet David Kohl.

I can understand Warner’s reluctance to build a salesforce of its own–if you really want to do this stuff right, you’re looking at 20 or 30 people–but it seems that long term, if the labels have a future, it’s going to be primarily as a sales and marketing force, and you’d want to make a bet on that now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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