Peter Vindevogel, CEO of The Park Playground, explains how he went from building a Belgian sports channel to launching the Location-Based Entertainment (LBE) VR company.
Talk us through an average day in your role.
There’s no such thing as an average day in this role but that is also the beauty of it! In my role as CEO, you can plan as much as you want but you can never truly know how the day is going to go in the end. Typically though, it’s a good mixture of both internal and external focus because I have to represent the company on different levels.
A big – and crucial – part of my role is maintaining and building connections with stakeholders, from content partners, developers and technical partners like HTC to potential clients and key figures in the industry. A lot of my time is spent nurturing this vast network which is vital for a company like ours to prosper.
There’s a lot of internal operational work too. From my perspective, it is just as important to connect with internal stakeholders on a regular basis, establishing trust between teams and creating a positive workplace culture for our employees.
How did you get started in the media industry?
I’ve been in the media industry for over 20 years. As a kid, I was always immersing myself in different forms of media and entertainment, from TV and film to gaming and sports.
My professional career in media first began in the sports sector. I was involved in the start-up of a local streaming service, Streamz and Belgium’s biggest sports channel, Play Sports which held the rights to broadcast major football tournaments, including the Premier League. After building the sports channel, I was asked to help develop the entertainment services, including film and TV, for Telenet, part of Liberty Global. From there, I became more and more involved in streaming and all kinds of entertainment, and that’s really where the story of The Park Playground started.
What training did you have before entering the industry?
My previous experience in marketing and scaling businesses is fundamental to my role today. The Park Playground is focused on prioritising customer satisfaction and bringing valuable immersive experiences to global audiences. We have to have a deep and well-rounded understanding from both an economic and a customer perspective.
If you want to have a role in the media industry, there are two very important things to note; there’s the content part of the media industry and there’s the business part of the media industry.
The content part is something that you gain knowledge of through practical learning. The best way to understand the content side of the media industry, like how content rights work, and what licences and models exist is to be in the industry and to talk to a lot of people to gradually build that knowledge base.
The business side of the media industry doesn’t differ much from the business side of other fields. When I came to this industry, I had a lot of experience in building businesses and marketing, so I was able to apply that to the Location-Based Entertainment (LBE) VR sector successfully. When it came to content, that was something that was new to me at the time but I have gained a deep understanding of it over time. It’s the combination of these two that makes a good proposition and that’s where The Park Playground is strong.
Why do you enjoy working in the industry?
For me, media and entertainment is something I enjoy continuing to learn and immerse myself in outside of work. The fact that a significant part of my job is also what I spend much of my free time doing is a huge bonus.
Together with our partners, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible both creatively and technologically in LBE VR. It’s an exciting and incredibly motivating place to work when you’re surrounded by innovators and people with the same passion to drive the industry forward as you.
What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?
In my role, being enthusiastic about the product is important but first and foremost, you need to have a passion for the customer. My advice is to take the time to build a deep understanding of your customer, how markets work, what the value is for the customer and deliver a proposition that fulfils the audience’s needs. Once you’ve mastered that, you’ll have a solid building block underfoot for your career as a CEO in LBE VR.