Category: charles hudson

May 29, 2019 Off

Stripe and Precursor lead $4.5M seed into media CRM startup Pico

By Jill T Frey

Google and Facebook are increasingly slurping up every ad dollar on the internet. Their dominant position is upending the business models of traditional and startup media companies alike. The click-driven ad model of yore is leaving a graveyard in its wake, as once high-flying companies like Mic collapse.

Learning from the wave of SaaS startups that have launched and gone public over the past decade, media companies are increasingly exploring subscription models as a way to provide robust, recurring revenue while also building closer ties to customers, to boot (btw, have you heard of Extra Crunch?). And customers seem ready to open their wallets, as well.

That transition from ad revenue to subscription means that the infrastructure undergirding these companies needs to be completely ripped out and replaced with new solutions designed to solve a whole new set of problems — and opportunities.

Enter Pico. The brainchild … Read the rest

May 6, 2019 Off

Where top VCs are investing in media, entertainment & gaming

By Jill T Frey

Most of the strategy discussions and news coverage in the media and entertainment industry is concerned with the unfolding corporate mega-mergers and the political implications of social media platforms.

These are important conversations, but they’re largely a story of twentieth-century media (and broader society) finally responding to the dominance Web 2.0 companies have achieved.

To entrepreneurs and VCs, the more pressing focus is on what the next generation of companies to transform entertainment will look like. Like other sectors, the underlying force is advances in artificial intelligence and computing power.

In this context, that results in a merging of gaming and linear storytelling into new interactive media. To highlight the opportunities here, I asked nine top VCs to share where they are putting their money.

Here are the media investment theses of: Cyan Banister (Founders Fund), Alex Taussig (Lightspeed), Matt Hartman (betaworks), Stephanie Zhan (Sequoia), Jordan Fudge (Sinai), Christian DorfferRead the rest