SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Sony Corp’s Sony Music Entertainment will join the online music video service being developed by Google Inc’s YouTube and Universal Music Group.
The move marks the first major record label besides co-founder Universal to sign on to the service to be called Vevo and expected to launch later this year. Sony and YouTube could not immediately be reached for comment.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it was not immediately clear whether Sony was doing anything more in the partnership than providing its music to the site.
Vevo is “exploring additional strategic participation by third-party investors” to join as equity partners, the companies said in Thursday’s joint announcement.
The deal is a further boost to Google’s efforts to monetize YouTube, which it acquired for $1.65 billion in 2006. YouTube is the No. 1 video site in the United States, but the home videos uploaded by its users have proven to be a hard sell with advertisers.
“We share a common vision of offering music videos and other premium video content from some of the world’s greatest artists in an attractive, clean and intuitive environment that appeals to fans and advertisers alike,” Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holz said in a statement.
Sony’s roster of artists includes Beyonce, Kings of Leon and Bruce Springsteen.
Earlier this year, Sony signed a deal to provide certain TV shows and films on YouTube.
Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Gary Hill