ZUUS challenges YouTube’s service before there is a YouTube service to challenge

zuus 300wNobody outside of Google knows what YouTube‘s purported music service (rumored name: Music Pass) will look like when it (probably) launches next year. It will most likely feature, you know, music videos. The service will certainly pull two gigantic levers: YouTube’s immense billion-plus user base, and consumer appetite for online video.

Based on that slim information set, ZUUS offers a preliminary counterpoint to whatever YouTube will put in the market. ZUUS Media started in May of this year, and its marketing blurb states the mission:

“ZUUS enables the multi-tasking generation to enjoy music video entertainment in ways that match their lifestyl. ZUUS makes watching, discussing and sharing music videos easier than ever before.”

The ZUUS desktop experience is pleasing, allowing the user to drill into a (limited) suite of genre channels. Perhaps of greater interest are curated video stations such as Village Voice Curated, Cake Shop NYC Curated, and Jimi Hendrix Curated (that last one presumably not fashioned by the long-dead guitarist). Artist-oriented channels exist, but not user-seeded — you pick a band from a list. ZUUS even takes a swing at the concierge programming trend with a Moods list.

It all worked well in our testing, which smooth video streaming and decent sound. We can imagine ZUUS becoming a Vimeo-like alternative to YouTube’s music service … with one key aspect missing as of now: user uploading.

Brad Hill