Talk us through an average day in your role.
There is no such thing as an ‘average day’ at Bitcentral. We are at the heart of one of the most exciting periods for digital video, and I must keep my finger on the pulse.
As GM of the streaming media group (SMG) at Bitcentral, I have P&L responsibility for the business unit and direct all activities involving product development, new ventures, and revenue operations. One of my main focuses is understanding the need to invest in new technology and utilising the possibilities available to the partners who implement our technology into their operations.
Such understanding is based on speaking with customers all the time to update my understanding of their pain points and plan what future technologies they are likely to need. I’m always working with Bitcentral’s highly dedicated engineers to develop these technologies and ensure our customers stay ahead of the curve.
Being at the forefront comes with many exciting challenges to identify opportunities for strategic partnerships and sales strategies that recognise how Bitcentral’s products boast the monetisation capabilities and deliver the best viewing experience in the market today.
How did you get started in the media industry?
I have been working in the industry for more than 20 years, working across – and gaining valuable experience in – different parts of the chain, gaining insights into the industry and its users. These include internet media, product innovation, and digital operation, where I have led the efforts to drive the video ad platform and marketplace businesses.
My digital career began in 1997 when digital was very different from what we see now! I founded and served as the CEO of the start-up company Musicvideos.com, which was the first company to licence music videos from record labels to stream on-demand. Musicvideos.com was eventually acquired by Launch Media, where I became vice president of business development and vice president/executive producer. Although it was a different path than many, I felt that I learned so much about the industry and how quickly it can change. It gave me the foresight to see the direction the industry would be heading in, and it provided the platform to take this into new opportunities.
My time at Launch opened up new avenues where I transitioned to the role of director of product strategy and marketing for the Yahoo! Music domestic site. Under my guidance, I evolved Yahoo! Music into the internet’s largest global entertainment destination, with more than 40 million unique users and 250 million video views per month. I followed this up by becoming GM of Yahoo! Music International properties and then the head of digital for the largest action and adventure sports media company, TEN.
I then took up further leadership roles at other media leaders before the path led me to Bitcentral.
What training did you have before entering the industry?
Following my graduation, earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of California, I came into the media industry with a different perspective than most because my studies weren’t particularly focused on media and television technology. However, this did not hold me back, as I used this experience to offer something outside of the usual spectrum.
I think the most valuable training I received was always learning on the job from every role I’ve held. From the very start of my career to this very day, I am always learning something new that is important to take on, regardless of what industry sector I was in.
Why do you enjoy working in the industry?
It is different every day. Groundbreaking technology and digital activity have been threaded throughout my career, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. At Bitcentral, I learned very quickly just how crucial media workflows are in helping take the industry to the next level. If they don’t evolve, then the rest of the chain will fail.
The complexities of today’s industry mean we must ensure solutions streamline broadcast and media operations. I am very lucky to be part of a team that shares my vision for the industry and how we can shape it.
What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?
This industry offers something for everyone. It covers any interest, idea, and vision, and I can’t recommend it enough. However, with the industry ever evolving, I must emphasise that you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. Everything starts with an idea, and having the courage to bring something to the table could take the industry in even more directions we never thought possible. I have gained a wide range of experience in my career, and taking such an approach really helped me get to where I am today.