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SBD Global/October 16, 2015/People and Pop Culture

Hangin' With ... Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon

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Capon says consumers want content in real time -- when conversations happen.
GARETH CAPON is the CEO of Grabyo. The company, which launched in '13, calls itself the leader in real-time video. Grabyo works with broadcasters and rights holders to capitalize on the commercial opportunities in sharing live TV across web, social and mobile. Over the past two years, the company has teamed up with IMG, Sky Sports, NHL, NFL, Formula E and Wimbledon, to name just a few of its clients from the world of sports. Capon joined Grabyo in Feb. '14. Before joining the London-based business, he worked for BSkyB, where he was in charge of strategy and product development for Sky's mobile applications. Capon recently talked to SBD Global about the idea behind Grabyo, industry developments and investments from athletes such as Thierry Henry, Tony Parker and Cesc Fabregas.

On the the idea behind Grabyo ...
Gareth Capon: The social video market is nascent. YouTube was the only player for a long time and then Twitter launched a video product followed by Facebook and then Snapchat. It became clear that to deliver a great social video experience for consumers you need to do that in real time -- when conversations happen. As such we saw the need to build tools that enabled rights holders and publishers to share videos in real time, i.e. when the conversations are happening.

On what makes your product stand out ...
Capon: There are a number of competitors in the market but few cover the breadth of social video capabilities delivered by Grabyo. A great example of that are the flexible aspect ratio editing features we are about to launch into the market and our mobile video production tools. The social video is growing so quickly that we are excited about the opportunities ahead.

On client expectations ...
Capon: Social video is such a new industry that it is often omitted from sports rights definitions -- as such it is important to determine where rights are held and how they can be used. Grabyo works with leagues, broadcasters and agencies because digital and social video rights exist across all of them. One key consideration is that when we are working with a league that we ensure that (premium) broadcast rights are protected. Consumers want the content in real time and this presents both an opportunity and a challenge to rights holders and broadcasters. From an agency perspective the landscape is changing fast and digital rights are an increasingly important part of the value proposition for rights holders.

On industry developments ...
Capon: The social video industry is going to continue to grow, and quickly. Snapchat announced last week they had hit 5 billion video views per day, Facebook is at 4 billion views per day and Twitter and YouTube are delivering years of total video viewing daily. Broad-based monetization is the next stage for the social video industry and this will drive growth. We see lots of opportunity both from the broader adoption of social video in the sports industry and from the addition of new customers in publishing, music and even radio. We are excited about the next 12 months.

Fabregas and Capon
On having the backing of top athletes ...
Capon: Having global sports stars is helpful to the company in terms of our exposure and profile within the sports industry. We are also exploring the opportunites presented by "talent as a channel" and firmly believe that influencers on social networks will become key elements of the distribution ecosystem for social video in time. Sports stars and public figures generate 20-30x more engagement per fan than traditional rights holders and broadcasters and this opens up a significant opportunity for those content owners that can take advantage of this unparalleled reach and consumer engagement.

On what's next for Grabyo ...
Capon: We have built a market-leading platform for social video and continue to evolve it -- our vision is to enable content owners to connect with millions of consumers around the globe on mobile devices. The key is to provide the right content in the right format at the right time.

Hangin' With runs each Friday in SBD Global.
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