Muzu strikes gold with Universal online video deal

22 Apr 2009

As YouTube’s dispute with the music industry continues to drag on, Irish-headquartered music video site Muzu has struck a major video and ads deal with U2’s music label Universal.

Muzu co-founder Ciaran Bollard told that the deal represents a major milestone in the company’s development, with three of the big four labels now on its books, including Sony, Universal and EMI.

The company has also struck deals with prominent indie labels including the Beggars Group, and its video-player technology is now being used by and

Muzu TV allows fans to create, watch and share music-video playlists. Users can create video playlists from thousands of videos and embed them on their social- networking sites.

The site generates its revenue by sharing ad revenues with artists and labels.

The site provides free access to thousands of hours of diverse music video content, including concerts, back-stage footage, documentaries, tutorials, music videos, interviews and classic music TV shows such as The Tube.

For music fans, Muzu TV is primarily about watching, creating and sharing unlimited music-video playlists. Fans can access over 10,000 artist channels, including major label acts such as The Script, The Ting Tings, MGMT and Beyonce, plus up-and-coming indie bands such as Fight Like Apes, Bo Pepper and This Devil is Yours, not to mention all of EMI Music’s content.

Fans can also create their own Music TV Channels, featuring any video on Muzu TV, and embed them in their social-networking pages — further increasing the revenue potential for bands. In addition, fans can feature on their favourite artist channels by uploading a video they have created on that artist.

Bollard told that the deals with the big four labels cover Ireland and the UK, but that the company wants to commence its international expansion later this year, starting with the US.

He added that in recent weeks the company secured a deal with Bebo to be the official video player for all Sony Music titles and artists.

Muzu, he said, generates revenue from sharing ad revenue with labels and artists based on per thousand videos viewed.

“An increasing number of video-publishing sites are choosing Muzu as a partner. The music industry is very wary about giving media-playing sites access to their crown jewels, the music, and because we have a background in the music industry and have come up with a model they can profit from, they trust us.”

The deal with Bebo, Bollard said, makes Muzu’s video player the official video player for artists such as Beyonce on Bebo. “The new deal with Bebo gives Muzu the ability to sell advertising onto Beyonce’s profile, for example.”

By John Kennedy