For the third year, we’re honoring the industry veterans and executives who have been shaping the future of the business.
This year has been the most interesting to watch play out, with newer players like Verizon and Facebook taking their place alongside old media titans like NBC Universal, CNN and Comcast, moving at a rapid pace to sort out their OTT and streaming video strategies. M&A activity has slowed in MCN land, but has continued for the software and content companies. A new subscription VOD business is born practically every day as content companies scramble to migrate from YouTube and take ownership of their consumer and revenue share. The market is saturated with new series, too many for any consumer to discover and watch, yet content buying continues to surge. And the ad business is in major flux as viewability, view count standards and television ratings come into sharper focus.
Through the chaos and turbulence in the industry, the Power Sixers have powered ahead, making sense of the madness and putting structure in place as they do their part to elevate the overall business. Moreover, this year’s Sixers are visionaries who have seen the arc of the business and have keen insights about the state of the industry and what the future might hold for video, its watchers and its creators.
Each day this week, we’ll be spotlighting one of the six, as well as our 2016 Dealmakers.
Introducing the 2016 Power Sixers:
Jimmy Maymann, Executive Vice President and President, AOL Content & Consumer Brands
Jimmy Maymann came to AOL in 2011 via acquisition of his video advertising company GoViral, which he founded in 2005. What started out as a video ad-tech play became a crucial component of AOL’s growing video business alongside the work that Ran Harnevo was doing inside AOL after his own business 5Min, a video syndication marketplace, was acquired. During his time at AOL, Maymann was appointed as CEO of Hufffington Post, a brand he elevated from a single domestic brand to a global media company with satellite teams in over 15 markets. CEO Tim Armstrong calls Maymann “a rare talent.” Read Maymann’s profile.
Jonathan Skogmo, Founder and CEO, Jukin Media
With Jukin Media, Jonathan Skogmo has taken the user-generated content aesthetic made popular by “America’s Funniest Videos” and optimized it for the streaming video space. He founded the company in 2009 following stints as a producer on clip shows such as Discovery’s “Moments of Impact” and CMT’s “Country Fried Home Videos.” Today, Jukin’s core owned-and-operated online properties combine for 30 million fans across platforms (FailArmy, JukinVideo, People Are Awesome, The Pet Collective). And, less than two years since it launched its TV production arm, it’s produced more than 100 episodes of linear TV programming with three shows, “FailArmy,” “World’s Funniest” and “Now That’s Funny!” Now, Jukin is poised to have an even bigger 2016 with the expanded roll-out of video monetization on Facebook, where the company’s clips are shared and viewed in by millions.
Allen DeBevoise, Investor, ThirdWave Capital and Chairman of Machinima
He’s been called the “Godfather of the Industry” and to date, Allen DeBevoise has invested in over 60 companies in online video, media and virtual reality. As the former CEO and current Chairman of Machinima, DeBevoise was early to the video ecosystem on YouTube and one of the earliest investors in the business to find exits via Awesomeness TV in 2013 to Dreamworks and StyleHaul to RTL Group in 2015. He’s currently invested in other video networks including DanceOn and MiTu in addition to more recent investments in content companies like Freddie Wong’s RocketJump, emerging platforms like Naritiv, which runs branded campaigns on Snapchat, and Vrideo, a YouTube-like platform for virtual reality.
Judy McGrath, Founder and President, Astronauts Wanted
Judy McGrath has taken a talent for creating cutting-edge, youth-oriented content honed by three decades at MTV, where she rose from copywriter to CEO, and applied it to the world of digital video with Astronauts Wanted, a joint venture she launched with Sony Music Entertainment in 2013. She’s led the company through fresh takes on standard formats — including Lilly Singh’s tour documentary “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” the travel series “#HeyUSA” and “HeyUSAx,” and the talk show “Tawk,” hosted by Brooklyn-based rapper Awkwafina (a.k.a. Nora Lum) — and pushed the boundaries with the transmedia series “@SummerBreak” and “SnapperHero,” produced in partnership with The Chernin Group, Fullscreen and sponsor AT&T. Currently, she’s working with Canvas Media Studios give
viewers a darker take on transmedia with the episodic crime thriller “Socio,” created by Canvas co-founder Bernie Su (“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” “Emma Approved”).
Susanne Daniels,VP of YouTube Originals
Susanne Daniels left her post as president of programming of MTV to join YouTube in the newly-created role of VP of YouTube Originals last fall. Her task: to fill the content pipeline for YouTube Red, the video hosting platform’s much-touted, new ad-free video and music subscription service. None of the originals developed under Daniels’ watch have debuted on Red as yet, but it will be fascinating to watch how her ultra-professional linear TV sensibilities, developed over years in leadership roles in cable and network television (including stints as president of Lifetime and The WB), adapt to a platform built with wild and woolly user-generated content. Click to continue reading Daniels’ profile.
Ted Sarandos — Chief Content Officer, Netflix
The Guardian has called him the “evil genius” behind Netflix’s big successes. And under Ted Sarandos’ tenure at Netflix, from 2000 to present, the streaming giant has undergone a pivot so starkly intimidating that nearly every video business and traditional entertainment company has chased the Netflix model. During Sarandos’ time with the business, he learned that viewers were wanting entertainement on their own time and their own pace, often quite rapid in succession. Thus, binge watching was ideated and put into practice, set to disrupt traditional release schedules, the long-relied-upon appointment viewing schedule and distribution protocol. In fact, Sarandos and his team have surgically unhinged the backbone that has provided so much stability for the television business, all the way down to minutes of episode lengths. Here’s a man who not only executed a plan, but one who has taken the head right off the entire television business.