Maybe greatest identified for a career-making seed funding in Snapchat, Lightspeed associate Jeremy Liew is a number one investor throughout media and leisure, making bets on startups like Cheddar, Giphy, HQ, SpecialGuest, Mic, Beme, Playdom, Duta and Flixster.
I spoke to him earlier this week about how he assesses the marketplace for media startups, which led right into a dialogue about “always-on” types of leisure that add stimulation to an individual’s setting, as a substitute of commanding their full focus.
Right here’s the transcript of our dialog, edited for size and readability:
Eric Peckham: Do you will have a constant framework for evaluating potential investments?
Jeremy Liew: Our perspective is that client know-how is now extra in regards to the client facet than the know-how facet. It’s actually extra about popular culture than new improvements in know-how.
After we are assessing a client funding we ask ourselves, “does this have the potential to turn into half of popular culture?” A technique to consider it’s whether or not individuals who don’t use the product will nonetheless turn into conversant in what it’s. Like how one can perceive a reference to “Sport of Thrones” even if you happen to don’t watch it.
One other key query is, whether or not there’s a scalable, repeatable method for the product to achieve its viewers. That may be promoting, it may be phrase of mouth, it might be by way of social channels.
We additionally requested ourselves, “is that this product going to construct a brand new behavior?” and we assess whether or not the entrepreneur has a novel perception into each why that is occurring and why it’s occurring now.
Your colleague Alex Taussig instructed me you will have an overarching “way forward for TV” thesis that’s guided quite a lot of your investments. Inform me about that thesis and the way it filters alternatives within the media & leisure house for you.
I feel you’ll be able to cut up what was referred to as TV into two core use circumstances: “TV as leisure” and “TV as firm.”
“TV as leisure” is most of what Netflix, Amazon, Apple, HBO, and comparable firms have been centered on. It’s high-production high quality leisure it’s a must to take note of. Suppose exhibits like “Sport of Thrones,” “Succession,” “Orange is the New Black.”
Then there’s one other traditional class of TV — “TV as firm,” which is stuff that’s on when you’re doing one thing else. You’ve bought the morning present on when you’re getting the youngsters prepared for college otherwise you’re on the brink of go to work. That’s the way you get the 5 hours of TV viewing per day that People common.
TV as leisure needs to be so good that you just select to observe it over doing anything; TV as firm you simply need to not select to show it off.
The huge quantity of consideration to the transfer to video — with subscription video on-demand (SVOD) and so forth — has been on TV as leisure. There are hit exhibits that can appeal to folks to Netflix, or to HBO Go, to Disney+. However what causes them to remain as a subscriber after they binge-watched throughout the stuff that introduced them within the first place?
That tends to be the TV as firm content material. For those who really take a look at hours watched in tv, nobody is tuning in to catch the newest episode of “Shark Week” — it’s simply what’s on. Take into consideration the TV Information grid: each style, each channel will possible have a cell native equal.
A few of these exist already. ESPN — it’s a channel the place males watch one of the best opponents on this planet play the sports activities they used to play once they had been in highschool after which they speak about it with their associates. Twitch is a spot the place males, principally, watch one of the best opponents on this planet play the video games they used to play once they had been youthful and speak about it with their associates.