Vevo Fuses Artists and Athletes in New Web Series


Vevo’s plans for Artists vs. Athletes go well beyond the NBA, however. The company said it's in active discussions with the National Hockey League, National Football League, Major League Baseball and the U.S. Olympic Committee to conduct similar interviews throughout the year, and potentially launch other music-meets-sports content.

“This is our time to move into other areas, like lifestyle, fashion and sports,” said Kohl. “If 2010 was about building our association between fans and artists, 2011 is about amplifying it. This is a significant franchise series for Vevo. ”

Vevo, which debuted in late 2009, enjoyed a strong 2010. Backed by a partnership with Google—which places Vevo as the default music video outlet on YouTube—and distribution deals with CBS and AOL, Vevo has soared to more than 50 million unique users, per comScore. It's now the second largest video site on the Web.

Kohl said the site is a natural fit with major sports leagues, which are constantly trying to appeal to younger fans. In the case of the NBA, the league has “deep ties to music, particularly hip-hop,” he said.

Beyond sports, Vevo’s plan is to aggressively court other content partners as it looks to expand its brand. Kohl hinted that it may include distribution deals with some “core fashion publishers” down the road. Kohl added, “We are a music platform. We want to continue to be that place for premium original music content, and we are looking to build on top of that platform.”