We talked to Javier Saralegui on how DangerTV brings the best danger videos from around the world and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Javier Saralegui: Everyone is healthy, can’t complain
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded DangerTV.
Javier Saralegui: I have been in startups or turnarounds my entire career. The most notable (until now) was my run at Univision, where I turned around their cable network, Galavision, and founded the digital division, Univision.com. We sold Univision in 2007/8 to Haim Saban and private equity for $13.5 B. Contribution from the cable and digital units to Univision’s enterprise value was around $1.5B. It provided me with the opportunity to do my own thing, which I did with partners, including my brother, and entered the mobile/QR code space. I sold the company after approximately 4 years. At a post-sale partner’s event, a few of us that had worked together and had enjoyed the experience agreed we should try and find a new project. I brought up the inevitability of free AVOD in a cord-cutting world and thought that there was a place to provide young men with a new, free, adrenaline option that aggregated all types of danger-centric video and could be streamed in linear and/or AVOD form. My partners liked the idea, added to it, and asked what we should name it. I suggested DangerTV, they liked it, thought it had the global swag, and we went for it. I went out and tracked down who had the URL, bought it, and then trademarked the name and logo, and we then looped friends and family around. We’ve been in the danger business ever since.
How does DangerTV innovate?
Javier Saralegui: When you disrupt a legacy business like television, everything you do is innovative. From rev sharing on content versus syndicating or creating it to partnering with the distribution that hadn’t existed five years ago like Samsung/TV Plus to using social as part of your holistic marketing approach to exploring AI to make sense of your data to registration and using it as an affinity tool. From soup to nuts, you are always innovating.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Javier Saralegui: It positively affected our business because everyone had to stay home, and television viewing grew across the board. In addition, with people unemployed or underemployed, potential viewers began paying more attention to free viewing destinations like DangerTV. The increase in views resulted in more impressions to sell, which was still doable because of the way that programmatic buying and selling of ads via demand side and supply side partners allows you to sell space without a physical ad sales staff, negating the need for an in-office sales team. Net, net; revenue growth.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Javier Saralegui: The most difficult choices can also be the best choices, like the inevitable cash crunch all startups go through. It required additional personal investment, which was a strain but at the same time sent a message to all of our investors that the founders and freelancers were willing to invest their own capital because they believed in DangerTV, it’s potential, and in its inevitable success. Subsequently, our investors suggested re-opening the convertible note so that they could invest more, which not only provided the needed capital but also provided the team with a boost in confidence that suggested that we were onto something.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Javier Saralegui: I work out.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Javier Saralegui: Anyone who is trying to reach young men via video. From Snap to the professional sports leagues and everyone in between.
Your final thoughts?
Javier Saralegui: I am glad I’m a streamer, I’m glad that I am doing this with colleagues who have worked with me before and have succeeded, and I look forward to knowing that soon on every corner of the globe, viewers will know that DangerTV is the Home of the Bold.
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