Erik Huggers is no stranger to IBC, having spoken or visited while taking on a variety of responsibilities. He was also the BBC’s ‘man on the spot’ at London’s City Hall in 2008 when he made a live transmission into IBC of NHK’s 8K Super Hi-Vision technology, complete with 22-channel audio.
Erik Huggers is CEO at music specialist Vevo. He delivered a keynote address at IBC2016.
Speaking just ahead of his speech, titled ‘Online Broadcasting Evolves’, Huggers told us that he had just added content from Warner Music to his portfolio, and relaunched the service.
“Over the last year we’ve increasingly taken steps to prioritise our owned and operated Vevo experiences for mobile, web and connected TVs,” he says.
“Our relaunch was the culmination of these initial efforts, as we introduced a revitalised brand, product and approach to our content and programming. We’re re-focusing our brand to ensure that we’re putting our artists first in everything we do and let their content shine with the audience.
“For our product, we’re building a highly personalised experience that’s anchored in creating a community where music video lovers can enjoy and share their favourite content, while discovering new artists relevant to their tastes.
For our original content, we’re introducing a distinct editorial voice for the first time, through bringing a compelling roster of hosts and curators onto the platform.
We’re balancing this with high-quality production for our dscvr, LIFT and Vevo Presents programmes. The addition of Warner Music Group rounds out our content offering beautifully, through adding an incredible roster of artists.”
“Media platforms are evolving to allow anyone to find an audience”
Huggers admits that Vevo, while very important, is not the only game in town.
“Our audience has a finite amount of time every day,” he says.
“We have to offer an experience that’s distinct enough to become a daily habit. We also see the audio and video streaming spaces as very different experiences, so it’s difficult to make these comparisons as a result.”
An on-demand world
While Huggers was a key player in the introduction of the BBC’s iPlayer service, he observes the world has evolved considerably since then.
“The world has increasingly moved to an on-demand digital environment where connectivity is ubiquitous and consumers get the content they love when they want it and how they want it, through smartphone, TV or web.
“This new world is ushering in an era of personal broadcasting, where media platforms are evolving to allow anyone to find an audience, and even become a star if they can tell stories in a compelling way. It’s changing the fundamental way we look at building products in the digital media space.”
Huggers recognises that there is still much to do, not least geographic expansion.
“80 per cent of our views are generated outside the US, and moving forward for us it’s important we capitalise on growing market opportunities in regions like Latin America and selective expansion in Europe and Asia. Core to our success here is ensuring we have the right regional content, local relationships and business model to appropriately develop and nurture these opportunities.”
President and CEO, Vevo
Erik Huggers is Vevo’s President and CEO.
In this capacity, he is responsible for all things Vevo with a focus on driving the strategy and growth of the company’s global footprint across product & technology, programming and branding as well as sales and business development. Most recently, Erik was a Senior Vice President at Verizon Communications Inc., where he was also President of the company’s recently acquired OnCue business.
Prior to that, Erik developed OnCue at Intel, where he was President of the company’s media division from 2011 to 2014.
Before Intel, Erik was an executive board member responsible for the BBC’s Future Media & Technology division, where he launched BBC iPlayer, one of the first premium online video services. Erik has also held senior roles at Microsoft Corp. and at Endemol Entertainment.
This interview was first conducted for IBC2016.