Vevo's app update taps Spotify for music video recommendations, and more

Machine learning strikes again

There's really only one name in music videos: Vevo. The company streams over 17 billion videos each month, and earlier this year, CEO Erik Huggers announced that it would soon launch a paid subscription model for those looking to dodge ads. With that, however, comes heightened expectations for how its product brings people onboard and continually improves.

Vevo's Android (today) and iOS (within a week) apps are getting a bit of internal reworking that should make life a lot easier for new users. The onboarding process has been completely revamped with a goal to get users in and streaming more quickly.

Perhaps more importantly, Vevo has also added social network connections so that you can "import and automatically add the artists you follow on Spotify, Twitter and YouTube to your favorites, resulting in a smarter feed, faster." Jose Gonzalez, product manager at Vevo, told me that smart onboarding "will come to Apple TV in the next few months," while the social network connection feature "will be exclusive to mobile."

Vevo

On initial boot, you simply select your favorite genres, which will "generate an initial list of recommended artists that are already tailored to your preferences." From there, you pick a few favorite artists, then sift through a few playlists in order to anticipate what kind of tunes you're into.

More improvements to come

Given that it's building products from the ground-up, the company is "doubling product and engineering headcount this year," and that's in addition to the P&E talent it received through the acquisition of Showyou last year.

When we asked Gonzalez about the preferred platform for onboarding, he had this to say: "We think mobile is the ideal platform. The lean-in experience lends itself well to scrolling through new artist suggestions. We customized Apple TV for a lean-back experience so you can onboard in a way that's optimized for the platform. And since the Apple TV app does sync with iOS and Android, anytime you add or modify your favorite artists on the mobile app, those changes will sync with Apple TV and you'll get to enjoy a smarter Spotlight feed that autoplays."

Vevo

In related Vevo news, I was told that the company's homegrown artist graph "will continue to evolve as new playlists are created." To boot, the company will soon replace Vevo TV, which is a linear, curated stream, with a "personalized stream."

Soon, you'll see improvements in Vevo's weekly discovery playlist (called New for You) as well as in browse functions that will make it easier to discover new artists and videos. And, of course, to see which videos are trending overall and within specific genres.

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