Livestream’s New CEO: Jesse Hertzberg

From Max

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jesse Hertzberg as Livestream’s new CEO.

Over the past seven years we have built the world’s leading live video streaming company, developing industry changing hardware and software products that empower people and businesses to connect with their customers in a deeply personal way. Along the way, our team grew from four founders here in New York City to 160 Livestreamers on three continents.

Our time is now. Worldwide consumers and global technology infrastructure have never been more ready for our vision of a world where every event can be experienced live, regardless of where the audience is located. It is the perfect time for Livestream to engage the next gear in pursuit of the realization of our vision.

To enable this acceleration I recruited Jesse to succeed me as CEO with the full support of our co-founders and the Livestream board of directors. Most recently, Jesse ran operations at Squarespace and Etsy – two of the most admired technology companies here in New York City – where he was instrumental in helping them achieve scale.

As for me, I’m excited to focus my energy on my new role as SVP & GM, Video Products. Going forward, I will be responsible for all of our video production offerings. I will also continue to serve as Chairman of the board.

Today we begin an exciting new chapter in Livestream’s story. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our journey so far and helped make Livestream possible, including our investors, co-founders, team members, partners, mentors, and, most importantly, customers. Please join me in welcoming Jesse to our team!

From Jesse

I was recently on vacation with my family and found myself utterly relaxed yet constantly thinking about Livestream. The team members, R&D pipeline, customer list, and market opportunity were invariably on my mind. It became self-evident on that trip that it was time for me to accept Max’s challenge.

I’ve lived through my fair share of startup transitions and am reminded of what Fred Wilson once wrote: “The best transitions are not forced by anyone. They are driven by the founders.” It’s a true testament to Livestream’s founding team that in order to achieve their dreams for the company, they recognize it is necessary to continuously focus people and teams on their strengths. Livestream was built thanks to the tireless efforts of our remarkable team members. Together, we will be able to move the company forward faster than ever before, with the comfort of knowing that each of us cares about every single detail that goes into building world-class products and industry-leading organizations.

Max and I have been planning this transition for a while now, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get started. I thank everyone at Livestream for inviting me to join them on this journey.

Jesse

[Case Study] How ISC Sports Network blends live streaming with video subscriptions

When Greg Maish, President of ISC Sports Network, began using Vimeo Livestream, his goal was to live stream sports from around Indiana into the homes of surrounding communities. “We had this vision of a single place where people can come and see local sports,” he said. “We wanted it to be accessible and readily available, for all of our sports fans.”

In just four years, ISC Sports has grown from strictly live streaming games into a full-fledged online channel, using Vimeo OTT to offer live and on-demand sports content. Learn more about how Maish used Vimeo to scale his local sports business, grow his audience, and monetize video content in our interview below.

Growing from live streams to on-demand video

Working in telecommunications for most of his career, Maish understood the trajectory of cord-cutting behavior, especially those who opt into OTT content, or services that go “over the top” of traditional cable providers. “At the end of the day, we all are TV consumers — but we are also very much OTT consumers, whether it’s Roku, Amazon, Chromecast, or even on our mobile devices,” he said.

After digging into his viewers’ behavior in Vimeo Livestream’s analytics, Maish made an interesting discovery. Despite the in-the-moment experience of live sports, there was a surge in broadcast views after the events ended. “It’s an interesting dynamic. We’ll get maybe the same number of views that we get during the game itself,” he said.

With this intel, Maish saw an opportunity to grow his audience with OTT. “Vimeo OTT was the piece that was missing,” he said. “We wanted a ready-to-go, fully developed solution. It’s been a real easy way in [to the OTT industry],” he said, referring to the simple content management tools and branded apps available in the platform.

Generating and growing ad revenue with Vimeo

For many broadcasters, advertising is a critical source of revenue. Admittedly, “local sports is not always that easy to sell,” Maish said (ISC Sports competes with 10 Division I NCAA colleges in the Hoosier state). Using Vimeo OTT’s analytics, Maish was able to pinpoint the number of viewers his productions brought in, where those views came from, their watch time, and more.

“[The analytics] give us great feedback on stuff we would normally guess on,” he said, and unlike other television measurement models, the data is precise. “It’s not a guess, it’s not an estimation — it’s really what’s happening.” Providing quantitative data to advertisers, and subsequently guaranteeing that their product or service will be seen, makes for a straightforward transaction.

Tips to live stream sports

ISC Sports is a prime example of starting scrappy and scaling quickly. How did they achieve their success with building a local sports network in just four years?

1. Know your vision. “You’ve really got to have a vision when you get started,” he said, while acknowledging that it can (and likely will) change. “Ours has evolved over time.

2. Top-notch, reliable distribution. Your business won’t gain traction unless you’re broadcasting quality content to bring in and maintain viewership. “That’s where having a partner like Vimeo plays into our business strategy,” he said. “With Vimeo, we know that when we’re out streaming, it will work. It’s always just worked, and that’s been a key ingredient in our success.”

In the end, Maish remains invested in and reliant on Vimeo to support ISC because of the team behind the platforms. “One thing we’ve learned as both a community-facing service provider and from dealing with vendors, is that loyalty is everything to us,” he said. “If we feel secure in that relationship, we will preach it from the rooftops.”

“When a vendor does what they say they will do and they do it well, we will be vocal to say, ‘These are the guys you want.’ Looking at what we have with Vimeo, we will share the good news with anyone who needs to hear.”

Engaged audiences spark business growth

Through their highly-engaged audience and growing advertising base, ISC Sports now broadcasts all over Indiana. “Our production team continues to grow,” Maish said. “Even for a local game, we may have 10 guys there doing things. We’ve had to evolve into multiple crews, trying to cover as much as we can.”

Fortunately, as demand grows, so does ISC Sports’ bottom line. “What we’re spending is very manageable,” he said, referring to Vimeo’s Livestream and OTT price points. “[It’s] something we can not only pay for, but it makes it a profitable endeavor for us.”

Learn more about how to grow your business — and audience — with on-demand video in our guidebook, The 2018 OTT Revolution. By analyzing 1.3B consumer data points, we took the guesswork out of how viewers consume and subscribe to video content, empowering you to focus on expanding your reach and maintaining subscribers.