Though not an easy decision to make, today marks my last day at Ustream. It’s been an incredible 19 months filled with tons of highs, strong learnings and extreme fun. I, and the entire team, have a lot to be proud of as our efforts were felt (and watched) far and wide. Some of the most memorable live events I was involved with include:
- Charlie Sheen and his #winning ways
- The most famous Bald Eagles in the world (who have returned to the nest once again & are on their way to 300M views)
- The Chilean Miner rescue via CBS News
- The Japan Earthquake & Tsunami (and the resource Ustream became for the thousands in Japan without access to TV during it all )
- Multiple video game tourneys from the likes of Machinima and EVO
- Royal Wedding Coverage from everyone from PBS and ET to Kevin Smith.
- Occupy Wall Street
- Recently signed Viacom deal that will bring exciting live events from MTV, VH-1, Spike & Comedy Central.
- 30 Seconds to Mars live pay experience (5 hours spent watching per viewer!)
- 1st official live broadcast on @Twitter with @DJTiesto
While I have confidence the company will do what’s necessary to take Ustream to the next level from a product and business point of view, I felt it was time to take on a new challenge. I look forward to staying involved and being a resource to the Ustream family when needed. Keep an eye out as I have no doubt there will be a lot of exciting things yet to come from Ustream as it’s comprised of a solid group of hard working individuals filled with determination and a passion for live.
My next challenge is called Movieclips, yet the opportunity is so much more than that. Since overseeing MySpace Video and catering to our (at one time) 45M video viewers in the US alone, and from my time at Ustream (and their 50M global uniques a month), a couple of things have become clear:
1) The best chance to create a business model around video is to combine premium content (aka content advertisers are comfortable associating themselves with based on its quality, packaging or both) with scale. Once you have both, if you can take that scale and break it up into targeted audience/data buckets that advertisers and others can access…you can make the case to brands why their dollars need to be weighted towards web/mobile vs traditional TV. Then the fun really begins!
2) Video has become so much more than just…video. It’s not just a bunch of moving images with sound but rather, a form of self expression, a badge, a way for us to communicate with each other, a way to deliver news and, other than photos, one of the most popular things to share with our various social graphs.
Movieclips represents the opportunity to combine #1 and #2. They have the chance to showcase what happens when premium content, technology, scale, social, video and people’s passion for entertainment and media collide. They have set out to provide quality and scale around short form “moments” that we all identify with, share with our friends and watch everyday. As the company looks to build on the success of its multiple major movie studio partnerships, and recent YouTube deal, I’m fortunate enough to get the opportunity to lead the business side of things and help them take the company to the next level. It’s certain to be another wild ride!
Oh, and did I mention that I can bodyboard during lunch or bike ride at sunset as it’s two blocks from the beach..need I say more?
In honor of my time @Ustream enjoy the following images (that clearly prove my involvement in much of the company’s success) courtesy of none other than Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable himself
And, in honor of my new start @Movieclips, enjoy the following video: (CLICK HERE)
Follow me @jkirk22