Vevo’s Lift Facebook App Awards Prizes to the Users Who Share Music Videos the Most

Vevo, the recording industry’s branded wing of YouTube for official music videos, has launched a program called LIFT that promotes emerging musicians on the Vevo home page and through a Facebook application. The app allows fans to win prizes and earn a place on a leaderboard in exchange for posting the app and the artist’s videos.

The eight artists selected for LIFT will benefit from the exposure on the fifth largest video site, as of July. However, fans are chosen based on who is most willing to spam their friends to win the contest.

Vevo puts up significant barriers to its content. Users must always sit through a commercial before watching videos, and when they’re directed to the app, they’re confronted with an empty registration Page asking for their email, phone number, and home address. These obstacles will likely scare away curious but unconvinced users before they can even form an opinion on the musicians.

Once inside the app, they’re shown the dashboard including their rank in the contest, the amount of time till the contest ends, and the points they’ve earned, which work well to create a sense of urgency. The Earn Points tab explains how users can share videos every day, sign up for an email list, ask questions on Twitter, answer a quiz, Like Vevo, or post the app to to their wall to advance in the contest.

Since consistent sharing is required to win, the app may exhaust users and their networks. Many people would consider defriending or hiding from their news feed someone who shared the same five links every day. Incentivizing users to abuse Facebook’s communication channels degrades the Facebook experience of non-participants, and possibly violates the site’s promotion guidelines. The young users who are disproportionately interested in new music and who don’t have the money to buy the prizes are especially susceptible to this type of coercion.

Giving emerging artists a chance to enter the mainstream is an admirable cause, and the exclusive video interviews and quiz will entice fans. But the contest is arranged such that users will have to share Vevo content to Facebook hundreds of times to win. The app would be more effective and appealing to casual fans and those first discovering the artist if it focused on immediately showing off the the music videos, instead of burying them behind registration walls, commercials, and such heavily incentivized marketing.