Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's biggest record label with hit artists Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, among others, has pulled its music videos from the websites owned by MTV Networks (MTVN).
MTVN, which arguably established the concept of music-TV channels worldwide, including the original MTV, also transmits music videos on the internet. Its most popular websites are MTV.com, CMT.com and VH1.com.
MTVN has always negotiated directly with record companies for its websites' videos. Until last December, when UMG joined forces with another major label Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Company to launch Vevo, an online streamed music-video syndication service.
UMG is insisting all websites wanting UMG videos must take them from only Vevo. And until its websites comply, MTVN is now allowed to show UMG videos.
In a statement, UMG said it believes it can make more money syndicating its artists' videos through Vevo. It said: "Vevo… is the best way to maximise revenue for our artists, our songwriters and ourselves, while bringing our videos to the widest possible audience."
Negotiations were said to be ongoing and industry observers are also waiting to see if Sony will also want to remove its videos from MTVN sites.
Photography by Agnieszka Zychska