Episode 182 | Posted on

The Future of Streaming Video with Damian Pelliccione

When we plopped down in front of Netflix, we often forget how massive the video streaming revolution really was. It wasn’t long ago that TV watching was limited to whatever was being broadcast live over the air or on cable. If technology has taught us anything, it’s that change is the only constant. What will the next revolution in streaming video be and how can you capitalize on it? My guest for this episode is Damian Pelliccione. He is the Cofounder and CEO of Revry, which has been called the Netflix for LGBTQ shows. Revry focuses on content that has been overlooked by mainstream streaming services. Considering they have 21 million minutes streamed and reached over 50 million homes, it sounds like they’re crushing it. Damian is here to illuminate for us what marketers need to know about OTT and streaming, how to connect with Millennial and Gen Z audiences and the future of broadcast advertising and interactive content.

Transcript

Damian, it’s great to have you on the show.

Thanks, Stephan. It’s great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.

We met at a workshop where we learned how to get on TV, taught by Clint Arthur who was a guest on this show in the past. I was impressed with what you were building with this whole streaming platform. We should probably start by telling our audience a bit about what the streaming platform is that you and your team have created, what OTT is and how is this an amazing opportunity for marketers and business.

We did that class in 2016. Clint was such a wonderful teacher and it was a great learning experience. That was at the time before Revry was even launched. We were still in Beta. To take a step back, Revry is the world’s first LGBTQ global streaming network. In essence, we are the first LGBTQ network to launch on a global scale.

When you say global scale, you mean tens of millions of users or viewers?

We are available in 50 million homes. In 2019, we will be in 200 million homes in over four continents. It’s an exciting time because Netflix is leading the charge here in Hollywood. It’s the globalization of networks and television and film. The industry is rapidly changing and for us, what Revry has created is an opportunity to connect with our community on a global scale. We’ve been downloaded in over 100 countries. We’ve streamed over 21 million minutes in two and a half years. It’s an exciting time because we’ve got some big announcements coming. OTT or Over the Top Television is the revolution of the technology for the consumer to engage with content anywhere.

If you’re a brand, you need to be able to be agile, start pivoting to the generations, and create a product that speaks to the Millennial and Gen Z market, because if not, you won’t be able to exist in ten years.

 

Using the example of Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime, your content goes with you in the form of an app. Your content goes with you in the form of a device. The OTT devices would be the Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire, and all those sticks or boxes. Even the smart television, that is OTT. It is creating an opportunity for consumers to engage with content without the cord. You’ve heard this term probably cable cutting or cord cutting. I’m on the generation of at least being at the top-end of Millennials/Zennials, almost on the cusp of Gen X, as a cord-cutter but the new generation is a cord-never. The cord-nevers will never know what a coax cable was. To say that we used to plug a cable into the back of a television is very archaic. They will never know what that means because that will never be an experience that they will have in their life.

That would be like a tape deck or something.

I know you remember the time when we were in high school. We’re making mixtapes for friends and that was the birthday gift that you would give. All of that doesn’t even exist anymore. Most of our employees here at Revry are under the age of 25. I showed them a picture of what a television used to look like. The back used to be a lot longer. They said they had never seen that before. A lot of them had never seen one of those in real life. It’s antique now, the picture tube. They think it is so funny.

OTT is a revolution. How is this available for marketers? If you wanted to reach tens or hundreds of millions of homes or consumers, and provide some video content that’s a mix of advertising and content, native ads or whatever, how would you do that?

There are two rules of thought here. In the case of Revry, I will give you how we deal with advertising and marketing on our native apps that are owned and operated by Revry, which would be all the OTT players plus mobile versions. We never discount Android and iPhone because those are bigger than OTT on a global scale. Then, we still have our website. The website is very important to us, it’s the first place where people engage. When we first started out with Revry, we were an SVOD product, a Subscription Video on Demand product. We didn’t have advertising and we didn’t work with marketers. In 2016, that was the hot thing. People are creating studios and networks. Production or distributors are creating their own direct to consumer app via some of these templates solutions. We were working with Vimeo OTT, which before that was called VHX at the time.

It was a great out-of-the-box solution for us to create our own network and to get to market quickly. However, it was not a solution that was going to sustain the growth of our company and the growth of our community. We reiterated ourselves in 2018 and went heads down into development January until August. We recreated the front end UX of the app as a hybrid AVOD/SVOD, Ad Video on Demand/Subscription Video on Demand product, which is what you see now. The main purpose of this was our audience was very young. It’s Millennial and Gen Z. If you’re not familiar with Gen Z, you should be because they’re an even bigger demographic than Millennials. They’re between the ages of twelve and 22. In the next ten years as they grow up, get jobs, get married, start to have kids, buy houses, they will be more lucrative consumer even than the Millennial consumer.

A marketer should focus on driving and building a community around a mission, no matter what the product or service is. Click To Tweet

Right now, the Millennial consumer makes up over 55% of consumer purchasing power globally. It’s a huge demographic. It’s the most lucrative demographic, but don’t discount Gen Z. When Gen Z and Millennials grow up in ten years, let’s give it until 2030, they will make up over 75% of consumer purchasing power globally. That’s a big number. If you’re a brand or any type of brand, whether it’s a product to service, a media company, you need to be able to be agile. You need to start pivoting to those generations and creating products that speak to the Millennial and Gen Z market because if not, you won’t be able to exist in ten years.

The big thing with us is we are a very community-driven and identity-driven brand. This is key to our marketing and our success. What I mean by an identity-driven brand is there’s a cause and a mission behind Revry. We always use this in pitches when talking to marketers, advertisers, and investors. No one wears a Netflix t-shirt. Why is that? Netflix is not an identity. Netflix is simply a product. Revry is an identity. We are unapologetically queer. That’s our marketing campaign for this pride season: May, June, and July. “Unapologetically queer,” that’s a statement. It stands for something. The Millennial and Gen Z generation want to be part of brands that have a mission or a cause because they see themselves in that cause and in that mission. It’s the identity of the consumer.

This has been very key to our success in terms of our community building. If you’re a marketer, you should be focusing on driving and building a community around a cause or a mission, no matter what your product or service is. I believe that this is what we can attribute our fast scale success to. I’m very proud of it because we believe authentically in our cause and mission. Our cause and mission is to represent all identities, all gender expressions, all gender identities and sexual orientations, races, and walks of life. That is the rainbow flag. It is the LGBTQ or we call now the queer community. We don’t like to say LGBTQ anymore because queer is more inclusive. This community wants inclusivity and they starve for it because we are not one race. We are not one gender. We are not one orientation.

I’m going to give you a couple of more statistics that are important for marketers to understand, especially in dealing with the LGBTQ or the queer segment. I call ourselves a segment, we’re not a niche anymore. We’re growing very rapidly. Our community is expanding as Gen Z and Millennials grow up. We’re a segment like African-American is or Latino is. It’s a segment that cannot be and will not be ignored. 52% of Gen Z will not declare a gender or a sexual orientation, causing them to be non-binary and their community will be in the queer spectrum. That’s a big number. 20% of Millennials identify as LGBTQ. You can see the opportunity for scale here in our market, especially being a marketer or working with advertisers. Being inclusive is the most important and the biggest key to success for the future of any brand, service or products.

Those are amazing statistics. That is an audience that should not be neglected for sure. It’s important also to go back to what you were talking about earlier about an identity-driven brand and how important it is for brands to take a stand. One brand that impressed me in that regard is Nike with the football player, Colin Kaepernick. I was impressed with that campaign and I was happy to see the results for Nike that has made them a lot of money. They took a stand. You’re absolutely right that Netflix is not a brand that people stand behind because it doesn’t stand for anything other than being the smart plumbing that provides you great content in video form.

It’s a great service. I’m not knocking Netflix. It’s a wonderful product, but there is a difference when you have something like Revry, Vice, Shudder, Cheddar, and Tastemade. These are the next generation of network television and I believe Revry is on that cusp with them. We’re being positioned along the lines of all of those types of networks. They all have a very strong identity in the marketplace. I’m excited because organically, Revry has been downloaded in over 100 countries and we have not spent any money outside the United States. We’re a startup. We’re only three years old since conception and two and a half years in the market since our consumer launched at San Francisco Pride in 2016.

The Millennial and Gen Z generation want to be part of brands that have a mission or a cause because they see themselves in that cause and in that mission.

 

I can only equate our exponential growth to my cofounders, Alia J. Daniels, La Shawn McGhee, and Chris Rodriguez. We are 75% people of color founded. We are all equal partners. We’re 50% women of color founded, Alia and La Shawn are women of color, and 75% queer. Alia is a super ally. She identifies as straight, but the points and the mission behind our company culture, when you come to the offices, when you see who works for Revry, we have fifteen employees now. We’re going to be out probably about 25. You can see the identity reflected in the culture. You can see the cause and the mission reflected in the culture. Some of my staff members have hunted us down on social media and begged for internships. Eventually, we hire them on because people want to be part of a cause.

I have a staff member who joined us, Haisa, who is now my new favorite best friend because she is smart and I’m so impressed with her work. For six months, she tracked us on social media. She made friends with one of the other employees and tried hard to work her way in. Eventually, we hired her. We took notice because sometimes you’re moving at such a fast paced. She marketed herself right to us as an employee and she has stated her claim here. She has been an amazing addition to our team and we’re very proud to have her. That’s just one story. We have Patrick, who’s interning for us. He saw an article about us and tracked us on social media and begged for an internship. Of course, you don’t have to beg. We’re always hiring and he has been part of our team for the last couple of months as well. The marketing opportunity far exceeds us as a consumer product. It became a movement. Marketers need to take a stance and create a movement for both your company, the culture of the product, the service, whatever it is, become an identity because that’s what’s going to stand out in the marketplace. That’s very key to your messaging. It’s key to your advertising, your media buys, whether it be on social or direct response. It’s very important for the future of any brand.

I love this definition of brands that I learned from Brian R. Richards, who’s a branding guru and who has been on the show. He defines brand as a promise. I think that encapsulates what a brand needs to be. If it’s a logo or a look or a feel; that’s very flat, that’s very two-dimensional and there’s nothing to align yourself with there or feel any loyalty to. Whereas a brand like Nike for example and Zappos is another example. They were a client for a number of years and I got to deeply understand their culture and how much it defines them. The fact that you could get tours without even being a customer. If you’re in Vegas, that’s something that you can do flying through. Make sure you organize in advance when you call them. Get that booked ahead of time, but you can get a guided tour of their offices and you feel this immersion into an amazing deep culture. It’s not just marketing, it’s real.

There will be different areas of the offices and sets of cubicles where they have taken an identity or a theme. There’s a Mexican area when you come by with the tour guide, they put on sombreros. They will get the maracas and they say, “Hola.” It’s really fun. There are themed conference rooms. There was one that was a backwoods country bumpkin theme to one conference room where they had the hind end of a raccoon mounted on the wall and stuff. It’s slightly disturbing, but it was pretty funny. It was certainly memorable. If you ever get a chance to take a tour of their headquarters in Vegas, it’s really cool. They get culture very deeply and that is integral to your brand identity. You’ve developed a great culture, a great community, internally within your company and of your fans and followers.

There’s a concept I learned from Kevin Kelly. He’s got an amazing essay called 1,000 True Fans. If you imagine that there are 1,000 of your true fans or your die-hard fans that are essentially what Neil Strauss would refer to as your street team. They go hit up the different bookstores in their area saying, “Neil Strauss has a new book out, where is it? Can you order it? I want it.” They were making phone calls to the bookstores and so forth like, “Is Neal’s book in?” Those are the die-hard true fans and it doesn’t take many of them. It could just be 1,000 of them and that’s a movement. That movement then can move mountains for you like get the bookstores to order a whole bunch of your books, and to get new TV shows to air and who knows what’s possible if you have that set of true fans? That’s what I’m aiming for at my podcast called Get Yourself Optimized. The other show is part of a bigger vision. I want to create those 1,000 true fans who are diehard and very into everything I produce and provide through my podcast and through the GetYourselfOptimized.com website. Then, when I launch a book, I’m working on a self-help book and it will be on those same topics around upleveling your life and areas of peer group and relationship and mindsets, physical fitness, spirituality and all that.

When that book comes out, I want it to be in New York Times bestseller, that’s my vision. Having 1,000 true fans beforehand is critically important. I learned a lot about this too from Todd Herman in his book launch. He did a great launch and got his true fans involved with a private Facebook community and gamification of the launch. If you buy a certain number of books, if you buy one from Amazon, you buy one from Barnes and Noble and you post a few times to your social media channels, there are some criteria there. He will give you the blueprint of his launch of what he did to create these true fans and get them galvanize to help him with the launch. He made it on to the Wall Street Journal top whatever of the best sellers list. I’m not sure if he made it under the New York Times list yet. There’s some politics involved with that list. It’s not just a popularity contest. It was impressive what he was able to achieve utilizing those 1,000 true fans. It wasn’t even a thousand, it was fewer than that. I was part of that Facebook private group.

Inclusivity is the biggest key to success for the future of any brand, service, or product. Click To Tweet

What you call true fans, we call super fans, someone who is going to market for you. They’re the ones that go to the bookstore and request the book from that author. I make all of our employees and interns during their orientation watch Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. This is a book that I read a long time ago. I discovered in 2007, 2008. If you watch his TED Talk, that’s also from many years ago, Start With Why. He debunks the idea of why a company or a brand is successful from a biological and psychological standpoint. It’s a brilliant TED Talk because he uses the example of the Wright brothers who were the first ones to take flight. There was a competitor to them who was out of New York and funded by Wall Street and had by all essence, a better opportunity of creating the first airplane than the Wright brothers. The Wright brothers were able to do this because they came from a place of authenticity and passion. They believed in what they did so much that they were the first ones to take flight historically. They will always have that name, that connotation.

Another example he uses is the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King. Back then in the ‘60s, we didn’t have text messaging or smartphones. We didn’t have the internet. We had snail mail. We had word of mouth. That’s it. How did 250,000 people show up here for the March on Washington? Dr. King said, “I have a dream,” not, “We have a dream or we should do this.” It started from a place of authenticity and passion and identity. “I have a dream,” and people saw themselves with that dream and that’s why 250,000 people showed up. Another great example that he uses is, remember the days when people would line up for the iPhone when it came out? They line up for 24 to 48 hours. That doesn’t happen anymore because they’re able to come out with the phone and you’re able to pre-order a lot faster.

Before all that happened, it was an event. They would give away tents and different merchandising and things and they have the staff there engaging with them. They made it a huge deal, but yet no one ever lined up for an Android. There was a culture that Apple had created around a product. I’m looking at my MacBook Air or my iPhone Red product and my Apple Watch that I’m wearing. I am a self-proclaimed Apple fan. Apple is an identity-driven brand. I have to have the products. I love the products. They say something about me as a CEO. I will never use a PC. You will never see me in my lifetime use a PC. That’s a huge statement for me to be so loyal to a brand. It’s because I see it as part of my culture. It’s part of my identity. I can’t physically work without Apple products. It relates to who I am too much.

The other thing too is how do people engage with Revry products if you’re a marketer? We have two ways. On our hybrid model on the app, where you can watch completely for free 4,000 hours of content with commercials. When you download the app on any of the devices on mobile or OTT devices, you will see an ad that pops up. We’ve closed multiple six-figure deals with companies like Lexus, Dollar Shave Club, and Gilead, which is a big pharmaceutical company. The exciting thing is it’s not stopping. More and more brands are flocking to Revry because they want to be part of what we’re doing. They want to advertise with us. They want to create content with us and it’s an exciting opportunity. There are a lot of exciting opportunities are coming our way.

The biggest thing is we have a direct sales team. If people want to advertise with Revry, they would get in contact with Luke on our sales team or myself. We have a deck of opportunities, whether it’s podcast sponsorship, an app open interstitial, commercial pre-roll, banner ads or integration into a storyline for one of our new originals. There are about 25 different ways that you can engage with Revry products as a marketer and advertiser. A lot of other companies use programmatic advertising to fill their ad spaces and their video ad spaces. We do not because we have so much demand that we have not found a use for programmatic ad.

We’re selling our own inventory direct, which is great. It gives us a better margin. What’s exciting is Revry is on Pluto TV. I’m sure no matter where you are in the country, you have been seeing these black and yellow posters that say, “Free TV, Pluto TV.” It was bought by Viacom for $340 million. It’s free cable in the cloud. It’s live linear television and you can watch 130 different channels and Revry is one of them. We’re also on Pluto’s competitor, XUMO. It’s more baked into LG, Samsung, Hitachi and Vizio smart set televisions. Most people don’t realize that when you have one of those smart TVs and you connect it to the internet, you have access on the XUMO up to over 150 channels. Revry is on that as well.

Netflix is not a brand that people stand behind. It doesn’t stand for anything other than being the smart plumbing that provides you a great content in video form. It’s just a service.

 

Revry is the first and only LGBTQ channel on Pluto and XUMO. The most exciting thing that I announced, I was on Cheddar News live from the New York Stock Exchange. It didn’t ruin it for me but I was like, “This place is so small. It looks so much bigger on television.” It’s not exciting like in Wolf of Wall Street. There are no traders throwing papers on the floor. People are sitting around fifteen screens and they all have their little bubble, like five feet of open office space. It’s funny but it was a great experience because when I did the Cheddar News interview, we announced, and I’m very proud, our partnership and our launch with Comcast. Revry is coming to the Xfinity X1 Box, which is their answer to the Apple TV or Chromecast or Roku or any of these over the top television devices.

X1 will be given to all the cable consumers, domestically and internationally as they start to roll out with their subsidiaries both in Canada and Europe. Revry will be going along with it. It’s an exciting opportunity because X1 is such a beautiful piece of technology. Comcast fully has embraced Revry as its newest and most premium streaming network. During the Pride Season, they’re going to be putting us front and center with their marketing campaigns. That’s an exciting campaign when you have such a big company like Comcast embrace what we’re doing, and to put not just their name and their brand behind it, but also the marketing dollars. It’s an exciting opportunity for us. We have a wonderful relationship with them. Alia, my CEO and Cofounder and I were in Philadelphia meeting Jean-Claire and the entire team there at Comcast. They are the most amazing people. They are a diverse group of super smart individuals that we are so privileged and honored to be working with.

How did you put that deal together? Did they come to you or did you go to them? How did you get to the decision makers?

The deal was in the works in 2018, but we didn’t announce it until February because we’re in sequence with Comcast and we’re waiting for the technology to come out. We were connected to someone who was running OTT channels, Matthew Tierney, who works here on Comcast in Los Angeles. Through our Pluto channel and XUMO channel, we had mutual friends who are working in this space and told us about this new technology opportunity with the X1 Xfinity Box. We started negotiations with Comcast. When you’re on one of the big ones, all of the other ones start to fall into line.

We are soon going to be announcing a lot of partnerships. When I say a lot, about fifteen in 2019. We’re launching more live broadcast networks and Revry branded channels, both domestically and internationally. There’s one exciting one that I wish I could tell you about, but I can’t that is in the works and that will be one I’m most proud of because it’s a legacy opportunity for Revry. In the sense that we’re going to be bringing a channel to a part of the world that had their Stonewall. For those who don’t know what Stonewall is, it is where the gay rights movement began in New York City 50 years ago. 2019 is a very pivotal year for the community because we are celebrating 50 years of the movement.

WorldPride, which is like the Olympics of Pride, happens every two years in a different city. WorldPride will be coming to the United States for the first time at New York City Pride on the last weekend of June. Everybody’s going to have a good presence there. We’re working with great partners like The Trevor Project and Comcast and the LGBTQ. We’re very excited because it’s very cause and mission-driven to be part of that movement. This territory in the world that I’m mentioning that we’re bringing the channel to, I can’t talk too much about them, hinting towards as much as I possibly can. They had their Stonewall movement. You’ve got to remember in other parts of the world, there are some countries that still criminalized to be LGBTQ or to be open. It’s not allowed or it can even be punishable by death to love who you want to love.

Having a thousand true fans beforehand is critically important. Click To Tweet

It’s such a crazy concept to think that is a thing because, in the United States, we are a lot more accepting and a lot more inclusive, at least on the coasts. In the middle red states of America, that may be a different conversation there. Revry is spearheading the movement of identity, even through media in other parts of the world that need it the most. Now more than ever, I believe that representation matters in media. It’s very much a part of the DNA of content that we create and the content that we produce. We want to make sure that we are being inclusive and living what we are speaking. By doing so, it does start with marketing and it starts with the creative. This is why our campaign for Pride Season, which is like our Christmas in May, June, and July. We pick up the most amount of new users and we launched the most products, is unapologetically queer. We are unapologetically queer and I’m very proud of that and very excited to see the response from the community.

Pride season, you mentioned is on May, June, and July. Is there a Pride Week or Pride Day? I know there’s Geek Pride Day on May 25th. In fact, that’s a thing to go to these unconventional calendars, find all these unconventional holidays like Talk Like Pirate Day, National Underwear Day and stuff like that. Align with one of those holidays, put some promotion out or some campaign out in conjunction with that. It could be a day or a week or a month like these different holidays. You can have some themes, promotion or campaign around it.

We love those. It’s always fun to post on social and connect it to a piece of our content, but I have never heard of Geek Pride Day and I am here for it. That sounds so fun. I want to figure out some special promotion now for that.

I learned about that from Clint Arthur. He was doing research because my brand for the other podcast is used to be The Optimized Geek. I rebranded it to Get Yourself Optimized in January 2019, based on a coaching advice from James Schramko. He’s like, “Not everybody identifies as a geek and you want to reach a larger audience.” I would make it more inclusive and I rebranded. The Optimized Geek for three and a half years was the brand. The hook that I used to get on TV initially, I got on ten different shows, with this was, “Are you a geek? Take the quiz and then, optimizing your inner geek.” There were all these geeky gadgets and props that I brought on to the TV shows to demonstrate. I would have the host put on different gadgets and things. I even had an Iron Man costume that I wore on Comic-Con. I didn’t put the helmet on, I had the host put it on which was the advice from Clint as well. Having something that’s timely, like a book launch or Geek Pride Day, so that there’s a good excuse to get on TV on that day, it’s better if it’s a week. If there was Geek Pride Week instead of Geek Pride Day, that would be more useful for me to get on TV and pitch to TV producers. That’s how I heard about Geek Pride Day with Clint.

A lot of it has to do with pitching investors because my life is pitching venture capitalists and funds. The average age of a broadcast television viewer is 62 years old. That means anyone who’s watching you on broadcast television is a little bit older. If you think about anyone under the age of 62, over 90% of them use streaming devices as their primary source for consuming content. News is a lot different, but people don’t watch news on broadcast TV. People watch the news either on the internet on a device or a streaming network. If you go to Pluto TV and you download that app on any OTT or mobile device or watch it online, you can watch MSNBC, Cheddar, The Young Turks, ABC News, all these news channels totally for free. It’s all in an app and it’s all live. You don’t need a broadcast or cable subscription. No one watches broadcast. The days of telco broadcast or what they called terrestrial broadcast, where they would have these big uplink, there are big saucers and they would send a single signal from the studio up to the satellite and then beam it down to all the homes. That’s gone. It doesn’t exist. It’s archaic technology.

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The only people who use it are 62 and over. It’s because they haven’t been taught how to use streaming yet or they’re starting to learn or adopt through the younger generations like their family members. I will use the example of my mom. My mom is 71 years old. My father is 75 years old. They’re from Toronto, Canada. A few years ago, I turned them into streamers or cord-cutters. I bought them an Apple TV and a Roku device, one for each room in their apartment in Toronto and showed them how to use the device. I even showed them how to use Revry and I downloaded all these different apps. My mom can watch the news and my mom can watch her stories and she loves The Handmaid’s Tale. I showed her how to use Hulu and they stopped paying their cable bill. They had been saving 40%, 50% of what they used to pay before for this old school coax cable.

This is very common. This is happening more and more over. If you look at the statistics around OTT, almost 100% of the country as people age off will turn to streaming. Even Comcast is a cable company, but they created this box as their answer to being part of the next revolution of streaming. They are not focused on just being a cable provider, which they are. I believe the only time that we’re going to need to utilize cable is for fiber optic internet. That’s it. Even if I think about at home, the only thing I pay Spectrum for is the fastest speed internet that I can get in my home where I live in Echo Park and that bill is $70 a month. The internet bill is more expensive than my content bill, my subscriptions like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Revry. It’s funny but that’s the changeover.

What is so special about Comcast Xfinity X1 Box?

You can find all the information on the Comcast website about it. It’s really cool. They have created this opportunity for new networks and streaming on networks like Revry to be discovered and to be consumed in a Comcast family home in a way that we weren’t able to do this before. When you think about Comcast as a cable business, it’s very expensive to run a terrestrial telco broadcast network. That is not the future and Comcast is very much has been on the cusp of what the next iteration of cable subscription is, which is streaming. It’s not even cable. I would encourage you to take a look at it. They even have this nifty remote control that’s voice activated. It’s like the Apple TV remote, but you can hold up the Xfinity X1 remote and say, “Watch Revry,” and the Revry app pops up on your TV on the X1 Box.

Occasionally, there are TV shows that are released only through an app or through a particular network that most people are going to have to subscribe to get. I’m thinking specifically Star Trek: Discovery. If I wanted to watch that, I would go to CBS all access to the website and sign up and then I would use my Apple TV to watch that show. Is this a thing that we’re going to see more and more of specialty networks and services websites where you have to sign up for a separate subscription in order to watch a particular show? Do you think Netflix is going to dominate this market and create hundreds and hundreds of new television shows that everybody’s going to go to Netflix for?

Netflix is already doing that. This is my theory on Netflix. The way that they dominate the market is by making sure that your favorites list is so backed up with the stuff that you want to watch, that you’re never going to be able to consume it fast enough and so the list will continue to grow. In other words, name five shows that you haven’t watched that you’re dying to watch or you’re interested in watching on Netflix and you’ve favorited it. Even if you don’t favorite it, it doesn’t matter. You go, “I would love to watch this show and this show.” What that does is maintain your subscription for another month because they know what the average watch time is for you as a consumer.

You can only physically watch so much television in a week and that number dwindles when you’re married with three kids in Kentucky because you’re busy with life. Because of that, you’re going to always be backed up in your queue of what you want to watch on Netflix and that maintains your subscription for another month, another month, another year, another year. That’s how they’ve been able to dominate. You’ve hit it on the nose, the original game is being played now by everybody from the Hulu to the Primes. They’re getting nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes and Oscars even. There was a big controversy about Steven Spielberg making this big deal about Roma and Netflix being able to be nominated for best picture because technically in the past, anything that has been nominated for best picture has had a theatrical release, like movie theater release, but Roma went straight to consumer on Netflix.

When you're ready to receive, the universe is there to provide. Click To Tweet

It changes the game. It changes the rules. Steven Spielberg has been very vocal about this. I don’t necessarily agree with him. I respect his opinion but I think the future of even the movie going experience is going to become experiential. It’s going to become so experiential, it’s game gamified. Think about VR, I will use an example. I went to see the new Marvel movie and we did the 4D experience where they blow water in your face and air and your seat moves and rumbles and vibrates and all that stuff. I have my 3D glasses on but the entire time I’m like, “I’m still watching a flat screen.” I paid $40 with tax for this ticket. It was great, my seat moves, amazing but the experience didn’t change. I’m still watching a flat screen. There’s a flat screen in front of me. I’ve got my 3D goggles on but it did not feel worth it. Plus I dropped my popcorn. They don’t warn you like, “Your chair’s going to move so much quickly and rapidly that you can’t eat your popcorn or drink your soda and you’re going to spill it all over yourself.” I wasn’t the only one. I think there are a couple of people who had that happened to them. A lot of napkins being passed around. I’m still watching a flat screen.

Imagine the movie theater experience where it’s full VR. We still have the chair. I think the chair is a great idea, but the screen is the problem. Everyone puts on VR goggles and now we’re immersed in the experience in the world of Marvel and it’s everywhere. It’s 360. That is where movie theaters are going to move to experiential opportunities because VR is still very expensive. All the theaters are trying to figure that out. They’re trying to race to market for it. That’s what is going to happen and then film making will become 360, when we’re talking about features and features in cinemas and actual movie houses.

I think what is really popular is watch parties. I’m a huge fan. I am the stereotype of RuPaul’s Drag Race and I go to one of the gay bars to watch with my friends every Thursday night to watch the new episode. That is an experience. That is a community of people who love that show, who see and identified themselves in that show. It becomes a night out for everybody. I guarantee you, every gay bar in America has watch parties for RuPaul’s Drag Race on Thursday nights when it airs live. That is the only time that I watch live television. Some of them will DVR it, then wait just fast forward through the commercials, but most don’t because they want to see in real time who’s going to get kicked off. This is where live television won’t totally go away. We’re still going to watch the Super Bowl Live. We’re still going to watch the Oscars Live because media cycles so quickly that the moment you open your phone, if you weren’t watching it live, you’re going to know who won the Oscar for Best Picture. Then you’re not going to watch the show because what’s the point? It’s like, “I already know who won.” That will still move into streaming. It’s going to be a different point of watch. Think about it. You go to Oscar parties to watch the Oscars. You go to Super Bowl parties to watch the Super Bowl. Those are experiential that is community driven show that nine times out of ten, you’re not watching by yourself because it’s part of a culture.

This reminds me of what you described of where we’re heading in terms of the experience. It reminds me of the book, The Diamond Age. The subtitle of that book is Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. It’s all about the coming age of nanotechnology. It’s written by Neal Stephenson who’s written some other amazing science fiction books like Snow Crash, for example. That’s amazing as well. He’s such an incredible futurist. His vision of whether it’s a movie and you’d go out to the theater or whatever or you watch it at home, is that it is an experience with live actors and the movie changes depending on your actions. You’re part of the movie. It’s a little bit like Bandersnatch, the interactive Netflix movie that’s a Black Mirror show. I haven’t watched it yet but I’ve heard it’s pretty cool and a little bit addicting. It’s like the choose-your-own-adventure books from the past. If you’ve ever read those and you want to go back and take another choice or another path and then you end up reading the whole book going back and forth. There’s that aspect of it.

The engagement and interactivity is not just a passive experience. Then also, it’s full immersion because when nanotechnology comes and there are things like utility clouds where these nanobots can form three-dimensional figures and you feel like you’re doing a sales call or a conference call and the person is right there. It’s not like two-dimensional or even a three-dimensional image because of goggles or glasses. They are actually three-dimensional and they’re there and you can shake their hand and stuff because the utility cloud or the swarm of nanobots form that entity or a representation of that person.

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

Imagine if that’s how you’re experiencing a movie. That’s an amazing book. I learned about it from a famous VC. It’s his favorite book, Steve Jurvetson. He mentioned that this was his favorite book and so I had to read it and it is incredible. It’s one of my favorites too. Things are going to get very exciting and they’re already exciting. When this age of molecular nanotechnology comes, it’s a game-changer or the world will be completely different. That New York Stock Exchange experience, how did you leverage that? That’s a big deal. From the inside looking out, it’s not like Wolf on Wall Street thing but from the outside looking in it, that looks impressive.

I worked really hard on my outfit that I was wearing that day too. It’s great when you’re shopping in New York before you get to go on TV.

You must have leveraged that pretty significantly in your marketing.

We immediately sent the link out to all of our investors, to all of our potential investors. We sent the link to Comcast because, of course, they knew about the booking. We sent the link to our entire consumer list or creator list. I sent it to every single Gmail contact. You probably got an email, I’m sure. It’s a moment to be proud of. It’s a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. It’s also an experience that I want to not share with the world but share with the community of people who support and who invested in and who work with Revry. It’s an opportunity for legitimacy in our space. It’s a very bold statement when you’re invited to do Cheddar at the New York Stock Exchange and have that opportunity. I was very proud of that.

At the same time, just like the acquisition of Viacom and Pluto, our announcement with Comcast, being in New York Stock Exchange on Cheddar, and we also had at the time. That was the week that we were closing our Reg CF, Regulation Crowdfund, which is an opportunity for startups to raise money from unaccredited investors via some of these platforms. In our case, we were using SeedInvest, and the folks at SeedInvest are the smartest and the most intelligent and the most capable of all the platforms. There are other ones like Angel Vest and Wefunder and so on, but SeedInvest has the best reputation. We successfully were able to raise $322,000 in 45 days. We were closing that campaign on Friday and I went on Cheddar on Monday.

This was an opportunity to also leverage that towards closing folks who may have wanted to buy into Revry on our SeedInvest Reg CF page. It was like a little blitz. We even had an article in Mashable that happened that Wednesday promoting our Reg CF too. Everything feeds in and ties into each other and sometimes it’s just divine right. Things fall into place and happen when they’re supposed to. I’m a firm believer that when you’re ready to receive, the universe is there to provide. I’m 38 and I think I’ve spent 38 years getting myself ready to receive. Now, I am at that point of I am open to receive what the future and the possibilities are, not for myself but for this business. It’s endless and it’s exciting and something that I can’t wait to talk to you again in a year.

You’re on your way of changing the world.

Thanks, Stephan. Thanks for having me on your show. It has been exciting.

This was a real pleasure. If folks wanted to learn more about Revry, about advertising with you, follow you on social media and all that stuff, where’s the best place for them to go?

The best place is our website, Revry.com or Revry.tv. You can use either of those sites. What I will do is I can give Luke’s email. Luke heads our ad sales team, and they can contact Luke. He handles all of our direct sales. He’s an amazing and smart guy and happy to answer any questions about folks who want to advertise with us.

Are you still taking investment?

We are still taking investments. We’re in the process of closing our big lead and moving into our series A. We are still taking private investments and the round is still open. If there’s any interest, they can contact me directly as well. I’m happy to give my email.

Thank you, Damian and thank you to our audience. I hope this was exciting for you as it was for me. I love glimpsing the future and getting to understand a part of the online universe that is not something I’m fully in tune to or abreast of. This was eye-opening for me. We will catch you in our next episode.

Important Links:

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Check out Revry for non-mainstream content by going to Revry.com or Revry.tv. Revry has been called the Netflix for LGBTQ shows.
☑ Learn more about OTT or Over the Top Television devices and how they are creating opportunities for consumers to engage with content anywhere without the cord.
☑ Start pivoting my brand – be they products or services – towards the Millennial and Gen Z market, realizing that in ten years’ time, they will make up over 75% of consumer purchasing power globally.
☑ Make my brand identity-driven that stands for something, knowing the Millennial and Gen Z generation are drawn to brands that have a mission or a cause.
☑ Focus on driving and building a community around a cause or a mission, recognizing that the inclusivity of the community is vital to the success of any brand, service, or products.
☑ Stand out in the market by becoming an identity and creating a movement for my company and the culture of my products or services.
☑ Create a street team of true and die-hard fans to hit up or call different stores and ask about my products. This kind of movement can move mountains for me because it can prod the stores to order my products.
☑ Advertise with Revry or create content with them. There are 25 different ways I can engage with Revry products as a marketer and advertiser.
☑ Align myself with unconventional holidays like the Geek Pride Day on May 25th, the Talk Like Pirate Day, National Underwear Day, and other such holidays, and put up some themes, promotion, or campaign in conjunction with that.
☑ Check out Revry on the Comcast Xfinity X1 Box. Comcast has provided opportunity for new networks like Revry to be discovered and consumed in a Comcast family home.

About Damian Pelliccione

Damian Pelliccione is the CEO and Co-Founder of Revry, the world’s first LGBTQ Global Content Streaming Network. Revry is currently available on Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Pluto TV, Xumo TV, IOS, Android and the Web. Revry now reaches over 35 million people in over 100 countries across the globe.

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