Music video powerhouse VEVO is launching a major redesign this week, after rebuilding its back end from the ground up. The online music video site has undergone a complete overhaul, which you can see here, designed to make it easier for users to browse and discover new content, while also streamlining the ability to search for the videos that they want to watch.
The new VEVO, which goes live Friday, is an extension of the company’s continued iteration on its web, mobile, and connected TV platforms. With this launch, the VEVO team has done a lot of work to actually simplify the user interface and strip out some of the clutter that had been in previous versions. At the same time, it’s setting the stage for VEVO to do some more interesting things around content discovery and personalization.
The new website is designed to be cleaner, faster, and dynamic, so viewers can tune in via desktop, smartphone, or tablet, and it automatically fits the screen. Now viewers who go to VEVO TV will have a simplified nav bar with just a few options: VEVO TV, Search, and Browse.
On the homepage, in addition to the carousel of videos, there’s also now a feed of regularly updated content that goes beyond its usual daily feed. By featuring new videos regularly, the hope is to draw the user in and get viewers watching videos more quickly.
“We wanted to simplify things to get people watching videos right away. As we started thinking about engagement, there’s now a sense of urgency… There’s always something new coming up,” SVP of Product & Technology Michael Cerda told me.
In addition to updating the homepage, VEVO has also expanded its VEVO TV live music feed. Launched in May, VEVO TV is designed to evoke the same feeling of that old “music television” — you know, from back when it actually played music. But it’s mean to be streamed rather than just delivered via cable.
Now instead of a single VEVO TV channel, VEVO will have three channels of videos. VEVO’s “Pop” channel will take over as the main feed, providing a live broadcast of all the most popular music videos today. It’s also introducing two new channels — Country and R&B/Rap — to provide viewers with access to continuous, linear programming of music from both of those genres.
While the most obvious changes might be on the VEVO homepage, the more important work went on under the hood. When it first launched, VEVO had been built on a Microsoft .NET stack. But according to Cerda, the team has quietly moved its backend to a Node.js framework.
It’s also refined and rebuilt its API, which will help VEVO extend its content to new partners, and also make it easier for the company to build experiences for new platforms.
Given all the changes behind the scenes, Cerda called it the most significant update that the company has ever done. The company started building the new experience in the late winter, rebuilding the backend from the ground up. The first step was building the web and mobile web sites, but the new backend will speed up its ability to reach new devices and update apps on existing platforms.
For instance, the company just rolled out a new experience on Samsung Smart TVs and is currently working on apps that work with Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming dongle. Once that’s done, viewers will have the AirPlay-like ability to send videos from its mobile apps for iOS and Android straight to their TV.