First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
We are doing well. Thank you for asking. Unfortunately, I know 12 people with Covid19.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company
I am the Co-Founder (with Gregg Cannizzaro) and COO of Go Indie TV (2013). We provide a platform for Independent Artists to showcase their work. It is our goal to provide additional exposure and grow their viewing audience. We also help move their career forward by providing support and making recommendations within the entertainment business. We host the New York Women in TV & Film Online Short Festival each February. We will also partner with Seed&Spark and host our own first Festival “Go Indie Artist Festival” this fall. We have distribution partnerships with Shucaye an Indian Media Production and Content Creator Company, iWoman TV, Purspek TV, and soon with Binge Network.
How does your company innovate?
Go Indie TV is fortunate that the Covid 19 has not affected us in a negative way. Though, it has hurt due to lack of advertisement. Ads are in decline because of declines in the economy. The graphs in this article summarize things pretty well — https://www.adnews.com.au/news/global-digital-ad-spend-for-science-increases-in-april . Travel and sports advertising have especially declined because there is, of course, very little traveling and sports lately.
Viewership is definitely up, but that also makes filling ads even more difficult.
Basically, there is an “oversupply” of streaming viewership compared to the budget of paying advertisers. For example, just like an “undersupply” of hand sanitizer would lead to higher prices for hand sanitizer, an “oversupply” of streaming viewers is leading to declines in ad rates. So, we are both filling fewer ads and at lower prices.
So, I am thinking of creative ways in filling that void. I find cross-promoting and working together even with our competitors in sharing content and splitting ad revenue is working well for us. Finding other ways for income versus ad revenue.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
I was Executive Producer for my first film “Marcus” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10560062/ , about a group of men struggle with a life changing decision. They find themselves on different sides of an argument that could possibly lead to a tragic ending. The film had its world-wide release on March 7, 2020 in Miami and then we were hit with theaters being closed. We do not know what the future holds as “Marcus” has been accepted into 15 festivals. It is disappointing not know what will take place.
In the meantime, we invite people to read this review: Marcus Film Review and follow Marcus on Facebook.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Go Indie had the opportunity to license a large library of content though we felt in this time of uncertainty that it is best to have a tight budget and to continue to work with creative and outside the box type thinking. Focus on expanding the brand through relationships and getting it in front of those who are stuck inside. Hard to market when you do not have a budget to work with.
Lessons learned: Realize that in the long run, you need to be able to rely on yourself because you may not have others to help you. I have also learned that not only do we find many heroes during a crisis that unfortunately there are many that are the exact opposite making things more difficult. Build relationships with those who are like-minded. Learned to be more particular in who you want to do business with. Sometimes other factors are more important than money.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Stress and anxiety can be a good thing in small doses. I find myself feeding off of it and putting energy into the goal of succeeding. I push myself. Though I have learned (as I age) there are more important things and that life goes by too quick. I use to live off of stress and made it a part of me. Now, I realize I need to balance and take a moment for myself. I now make sure I sleep at least 8 hours. I do not stress over time table and realize the world will not come to an end if I am late on a project or work slower. I also deal with stress by enjoying nature and animals.
I see Go Indie TV slowly continuing to grow. It has been a long process about 8 years with not as much income as I would like, but with little to no debt. By taking our time, learning from our mistakes it has made us feel more appreciative of our successes. I believe the Go Indie TV library will continue to grow, I believe we will be on over 100 different OTT platforms, and I believe it will be a place artists will call home.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Our competitors are anyone in the internet world showcasing entertainment. To stay in the game I plan on doing what I was doing and being creative on how to run my business without spending a lot of money. I have found working with others, even our competitors with cross-promoting. I will host more festivals. I will do more volunteer work on the behalf of the independent artist, building trust and relationships.