Grammy Week has returned in person, and in force, to Los Angeles after a pandemic-forced decampment last year to Las Vegas. And with it come not only flurries of parties, fundraisers, secret shows and showcases for all kinds of artists famous and otherwise, but more than a few gatherings to highlight cool new corporate and production spaces.
Thursday night, it was music-video streaming service Vevo’s turn to invite industry notables and others to check out its recently launched Vevo House in Los Angeles, tucked down a cul de sac in an industrial area on the northeast corner of downtown’s Arts District.
The new Vevo House is is the company’s third, after New York and London, and includes stripped-down permanent sets for shooting episodes for two of Vevo’s in-house regular shows, CNTRL and One Take. The company also makes programming around music news, live performances, and other content.
A company executive estimated the company makes 700 to 800 “pieces of content” a year, on top of the thousands of music videos it distributes and programs annually from performers big and small.
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About 300 attendees sampled custom drink concoctions named after the two shows produced there, a photo area on one of the stages, and a swag table offering attendees a choice of two T-shirts, a tote, and three colors of trucker hat with the cheeky but charming logo Hello Los Angeles.
Food trucks and tents provided sustenance, more or less, offering poutine, cheese steak sandwiches, and, appropriately given the East L.A.-adjacent location, tacos and elotes (Mexican street corn).
The Vevo House may be new, but the company has been in Los Angeles for quite a while, with sales and business offices all the way across town at the booming beachside Playa Vista neighborhood, where Electronic Arts EA , Google GOOG (including YouTube), and Meta’s Facebook have a major presence.
Vevo is jointly owned by YouTube and the Big Three major record labels. Unsurprisingly, it has a big footprint in the YouTube firmament, but also has a string of apps and linear streaming channels sprinkled across most of the major distribution platforms.
As with all the “old” new media platforms, Vevo faces challenges from the rise of TikTok, shifting consumption patterns, and the decline of attention spans. As one attendee put it, “No one has the brain space for a three-and-a-half minute video. They want to watch a minute-and-a-half video.”
One big response from Vevo has been to create and program themed linear channels built around genres, times of day, and moods. That approach takes advantage of another of our emerging content-consumption patterns, the need for mellifluous but not too demanding company while doing something else, like cooking. Happily, the lean-back linear channels are also better for advertisers trying to find specific audiences.
Trevor Noah is hosting the prime-time Grammy Awards, beginning at 8 pm ET/PT on Sunday night, broadcast live on CBS and streamed on corporate sibling Paramount+. The show from Crypto.com Arena, on the other side of downtown from the Vevo House, will feature performances by Bad Bunny, Brandi Carlile, Lizzo, Luke Combs, Kim Patras with Sam Smith, Mary J. Blige, and Steve Lacy.