Review: Vevo


With the loss of MetroTube, a number of services and mobile applications have stepped up to fill the gap. Some of them continue to poke around the edges of the YouTube API, while others bring you great video content but from other services (such as Vimeo and their official Windows Phone client). Next up in my applications list is Vevo, and it's one for music fans.

Author: Vevo LLC

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Built around the music content of three of the big four music labels (EMI, Sony, and Universal - Warner partnered with MTV instead of Vevo), this is as official as it gets in terms of streaming music video. Thanks to that focus on the content, you know you are going to get high quality video, with good sampling rates on the music. What you also need to know is that this is a rather limited selection of music.

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It's very much a mainstream service, and the coverage is patchy. Forget about your small up and coming bands like Scars on 45 from Leeds, this is the signed up artists only. And even then there is limited content. Not one Engelbert Humperdinck video (look him up in news sites this week), only one Eurovision Song Contest track found in the search engine, and only four videos for Meat Loaf? Either the search engine needs a bit of work in Vevo, or the track listing needs to be seriously upped.

Vevo reminds me of the old fashioned jukebox in the corner of a smoky bar. There are a bundle of classic songs available that you're happy to listen to again and again. But there are huge gaps, and you need to put up with a lot of other stuff to get to the music.

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Yes, this is a free app, and that means advertising - given Vevo by its nature is to provide a high quality home for music that can serve high quality (high revenue earning) adverts this won't be a surprise. You have space for a text advert before every video you play, while you will sometimes have a thirty second "pre-roll" commercial (that you can't skip) before you get through to your video.

There comes a point when advertising goes beyond "oh this is needed to support the developer" and "trying to make too much money." Vevo is far closer to the latter.

The cynic in me is not surprised by that, and neither is the focus on the "top" music and featured premiers directing your musical choice where Vevo would like it to go. Not that I'm saying the music labels behind Vevo have decided ahead of time what you like, but Vevo is very much an "up to date for the kids" music experience.

Yes, you could watch this video on your phone!

It's not for me. Watching the videos assumes you will stay in coverage (there is no download option for offline viewing), and there is a rather limited pool to choose from. I'm not big on watching videos, and if I want a jukebox of music  then I'll pony up the monthly subscription for Spotify or Zune Pass (I've gone for Zune Pass, by the way).

Technically it's very nice, but the design and implementation of Vevo as a whole lets down this mobile client for the service. Your mileage may vary, but I've moved on already.

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