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MCM takes the local reigns

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The joint venture music video service devised by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, Vevo, has entered the Australian market in partnership with local player MCM Media.

Vevo, which was launched in late 2009 as a dying gasp for financial resurrection from the major music labels, also features backing from Abu Dhabi Media and has a strategic relationship with EMI to license its content to the group without taking an ownership stake.

Australia marks the third market Vevo has expanded into after the US and Canada and the UK. The JV plans to launch in South American markets later this year.

The Vevo library features around 45,000 music videos from major international artists which are viewed for free with advertising served a la You Tube.

MCM, which owns the Take 40 and The Hot Hot Hit websites will sell advertising and produce original content for Vevo locally. Despite intense competition Vevo has had a good run in the UK with users streaming 177 million music videos in January, an increase of 120 per cent since its launch in April.

Last month, Vevo unveiled its redesigned international website, which includes a bigger video player, continuous playback and deeper integration with Facebook.

A key hook is that users can only access Vevo if they sign in with their Facebook log-in details, which has resulted in a 200% surge in registrations.

Recent research found that UK engagement levels also increased, with an average 15 videos being watched by each user each month.

In January, UK each user watched around 70 minutes worth of online video, with a large proportion of this being music videos viewed on mobiles or tablet devices.

The site's mobile usage has also stepped up with its app being downloaded 1.4 million times and mobile streams have doubled between April 2011 and January 2012 to reach 12.4 million.

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