A while back, we told you about a plan from some of the major labels to launch a Hulu-like music video web site as an alternative to the unthinkable pennance they were apparently earning for letting their artists' videos air on YouTube. Now, as some of the majors renegotiate liscensing deals with YouTube (and others just flip out), Universal has partnered with the Google-owned operation to create its own UMG-artists-only online home for music videos.
Though nothing's set in stone as yet, a deal could be signed within the next few weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new site is called Vevo -- under the proposed agreement, YouTube would distribute UMG's video content to other web sites.
Universal is the biggest record label in the world; no word yet on whether YouTube/Google will be looking to make the same kind of arrangement with other labels, too. This humorous quote on the matter comes directly from an official YouTube statement: "We are always working with our partners to find creative ways to connect music, musicians and fans." Really? Because the easiest way to do that would probably be just to let us all watch videos for free on YouTube. Like we used to do. In the dark ages of 2008.
Sony renewed its contract with YouTube last month and EMI is currently locked in talks with the company. Universal's deal expires at the end of this month, but it looks like that won't be a problem for them, at least.
And we don't have to tell you the status of Warner's situation. We'd like to let Neil Young do the talking, anyway.