As record labels look for new revenue from the Internet, Warner Music Group is betting, at least partly, on Hulu.
Warner will provide concert footage, interviews and music videos to the popular online video site. The first band page, for Muse, is already up. The set-up looks exactly like existing pages for Norah Jones and Dave Matthews Band, whose label, EMI, signed on with Hulu last month.
EMI was the first label to sign on with Hulu, and Warner was the second. But the latter label has notably held off on joining Vevo, a joint venture between Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Company, powered by YouTube. Vevo finally launched in December after being announced in April.
The strange thing is that music is far from being front-and-center on Hulu. Getting to the band pages mentioned above requires navigating to the “Music” channel on Hulu’s Web site, then picking the band pages out from a list of 20 selections, including music-themed movies, specials and individual concerts. There’s no section that lists all band pages and overall the number of bands you can find on Hulu is pretty sparse.
So I’m not really sure what’s going on here. If Hulu’s trying to build something that can compete with Vevo, it’s coming along very slowly. If that’s not the goal, Warner better work out an agreement with Vevo, otherwise I don’t see the label generating much revenue from its online music video ventures.