Middle Eastern Media Giant Backs Upcoming Music Video Site VEVO

VEVO, the YouTube-powered “Hulu for music videos” which to date was a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, is gaining a new founding shareholder.

VEVO has just announced a ‘strategic’ investment was made by Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), a giant of a media company with headquarters in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, reports MediaMemo. The specifics of the deal remain under cover, but the rumor mill suggests the company is being valued at around $300 million.

Slated for launch in the U.S. and Canada next December, VEVO is going to attempt to leverage YouTube’s massive audience to build a destination and syndication network for “the very best in top-notch music video content”. The three founding shareholders will be sharing the revenue from the music video site with YouTube as it will be using Google’s video sharing site as its main distribution platform.

Question is: how attractive will the service turn out to be considering the fact two other majors, Warner Music and EMI, are still holding out? And how did Abu Dhabi Media Company come into play?

ADMC was created in June 2007 as a joint stock company (wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi) from the assets of Emirates Media Incorporated. The company owns a host of television and radio networks and multiple newspaper and magazine businesses.

The company boasts dozens of partnership and distribution agreements with media companies from around the globe, including Bertelsmann, Warner Bros., Participant Media and National Geographic. Its CEO is veteran media pro Edward Borgerding, who was Executive Vice-President of Walt Disney International in Hong Kong before joining ADMC in 2007.

ADMC Chairman H.E. Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazroui in a statement said the deal will help the company establish a leading position in the digital media industry, and added that taking a stake in the joint venture is part of an integrated approach to expand its global presence and brand portfolio.