We’re now in our fourth year celebrating the industry leaders who foundationalize the streaming video business and the dealmakers shaping the economics behind this multi-billion dollar industry.
As said in prior years, “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.”
And this year is no exception. Last year was marked by leaps from the mobile telcos, traditional television networks and Hollywood studios to plant a stake in the digital video plot. SVOD services have become a dime a dozen, but as the land-grab for digital-real-estate has calmed, a focus on attention, audience, and monetization has become central to the conversation. Virtual reality is also trending as is live streaming (is live streaming ever not trending?).
But this year’s Power Sixers have not only been active in these areas, but in many cases, have pioneered the models that are working today decades ago.
So without further delay, we introduce the 2017 Power Sixers —
- Burnie Burns + Matt Hullum, Rooster Teeth: With nearly 15 years under their belt, Burnie Burns and Matt Hallum have successfully pioneered nearly every viable business model for digital video. From their first viral video to launching SVOD over 10 years ago and from using machinima (the storytelling medium, not the company) to build a breakout digital series “Red vs Blue” to being among the first digital creators to produce and distribute a full-length feature film online. Burns and Hullum have had their finger on the pulse of what works for digital video and the business model of monetizing a fan base. Read their profile here.
- George Kliavkoff, Jaunt: There are few executives who not only preceded the video boom but have consistently led the way in emerging media formats. Kliavkoff has been two steps ahead of the media trends since the late 90’s when he was a part of the team launching one of the first SVOD services (we’ll tell you which in our profile!). He then led Hulu into its first breaths as a business, drove investments in Buzzfeed and Vice, among others alongside Neeraj Khemlani during his tenure at Hearst, and now is leading one of the hottest VR companies of the day — Jaunt. Read his profile here.
- George Strompolos + Ezra Cooperstein, Fullscreen: This duo is probably best associated with the remarkable business they built and sold — Fullscreen, but the impact these two have had on the business span much farther back. From two sides of the business, Strompolos and Cooperstein were early drivers of revenue models for YouTube creators — Strompolos from inside YouTube having been on the team building the Partner Program, YouTube’s rev share model; and Cooperstein from the agency side, leading brands to the “influencer well”. As part of our profiles on them, VideoInk will share some of their earliest creator deals and re-live the first wave of the creator hey-day. Read their profile here.
- Peter Naylor, Hulu: Peter Naylor may just be the most important champion of the online video industry. Not only did he establish Hulu’s first media model, but he’s fought relentlessly to build structures, standards and systems to justify dollars moving from traditional networks to emerging media and video. Not only was he among the braintrust that set up the original Newfronts but he’s also played an important role at the iab, and in setting up the first Digital Video Board and Board of Advisors, to tackle the issues preventing movement in media buying and selling for video and new formats. Read his profile here.
- Ricky Van Veen, Facebook: The father of legacy comedy site and video brand, CollegeHumor, Van Veen built a business that was said to generate upwards of $10 million in revenue before selling a controlling stake to Barry Diller’s IAC in 2006. After running IAC’s various television, digital and new media ventures, under the umbrella Connected Ventures, Van Veen recently departed the company to lead Facebook’s efforts at building out a more robust video business.
- Roy Price, Amazon Studios: Over the last few years, the role of commerce and media as partners has become top of mind for many publishers and producers. The mega-business leading that wave is certainly Amazon, who has made strides in building a commerce ecosystem followed by an entertainment programming strategy that has not only landed it at the top of the Award-winners list but changed the way we think about “television”. Heading that content strategy has been Roy Price since 2009. With chops in traditional development and a background as an analyst, Price and the Amazon Studios team have championed the creatives granting next-gen and established writers, directors, and talent the freedom to work outside the confines of the traditional Hollywood model.
Each day this week starting Tuesday, we’ll be spotlighting the Sixers, as well as our 2017 Dealmakers.