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Andreas Kisslinger | CEO | LIGHTCAST.COM

Andreas Kisslinger | CEO
LIGHTCAST.COM

"You are building a brand and a business with your content. Be intentional, committed and strategic in building your sustainable, future- proof media business"

10 Most Inspiring CEO's of 2020

The King of Content

It has been well-established that Leadership is an art — which means there’s no right way to do it. Leadership is an attitude, an intuition built over time. Successful leaders have multiple ways to influence others and share a vision, and there’s no one right way.

Andreas Kisslinger, CEO of Lightcast.com, has an innate ability to understand market requirements and design products accordingly. He loves to listen to customers of all verticals, industries, and sizes, and having a strong background in media production on his own, is passionate about media startups and creative content creators, all the while making sure their products cover client’s needs and requirements and is at the pulse of the market is part of his focus.

He is also very hands-on in product design, the Media Cloud’s development roadmap, and product strategy. Spending much time in all departments, but with great focus on Software Development and the Customer Success Department, he can understand and assist in connecting customer requirements with development and solutions engineering. Flattening unnecessary hierarchies and fast and efficient communication channels is a priority for Kisslinger, who believes that customers directly benefit from short communication routes within a company.

Quoting Kisslinger, speaking to content creators and future leaders in the media space, “Make sure to move your brand and contents to all of the major app-stores and device platforms quickly. There are plenty of new viewers out there waiting to discover your brand and content, subscribe to it, watch it, support it and promote it. What you need is maximum exposure and distribution – of your own brand, not just to remain a channel on a social network. Sure, you may have viewers there, but if you keep relying on yesterday’s success and methods, the future will pass you by quickly and other brands will leave you in their rearview mirror. Take action now and expand your brand. Don’t regard it as an accidental social media success anymore, but as business. You are building a brand and a business with your content. Be intentional, committed and strategic in building your sustainable, future-proof media business.”

Building a Brand

Lightcast.com was established to help content creators and businesses expand their brands to new platforms, app-stores, screens, and devices easily and cost-efficiently and democratize media distribution.

According to Kisslinger, since the inception of the internet and streaming technologies, content creators and media publishers had been faced with cost-prohibitive CDNs and the need to have a sizeable staff on payroll to build and manage server infrastructures, custom database, and software solutions, and find and manage reliable web and app developers to build the viewer-facing frontend properties. This kept multi-platform distribution of contents and operation of multiple streaming properties exclusive to midsize and larger media corporations and organizations. From the beginning, even as far back as the early 2000s, Kisslinger’s vision was always to create true end-to-end package services for hosting, storage, transcoding, CDN delivery, app, and website setup, metadata, image and media library management, live-streaming, and linear streams, with publishing automation to all major device platforms and social media sites, and integrated monetization tools – all from one single vendor. “This is what we worked on in the first decade of the new century, launching the first multi-platform distribution and media management system for web, mobile, social and OTT/ ConnectedTV, with integrated marketing and monetization tools in 2010,” he says. “The landscape of end-to-end OTT providers changed dramatically since then, and Lightcast.com keeps evolving continuously and rapidly.”

All-in-all, Kisslinger wanted to make multi-platform media distribution, media management and publishing automation, advertising and monetizing affordable and accessible for everyone: from established media corporations to midsize production teams, to schools, non-profits to small businesses, startups, and independent content creators who seek to expand their brands and reach to new app-stores, device platforms, audiences and to diversify their revenue models. The company allows content producers and publishers to upload, manage, control, and monetize all of their contents, streams, files,metadata, image & sidecar files, app navigation structures across all connected websites, social platforms, mobile apps, and TV apps in real-time.

The Unique Solution

The Media Cloud’s comprehensive capabilities allow users to automate workflows, save time and resources, and deliver video, audio, and live-streaming content to more devices and platforms. The Media Cloud interface is so intuitive that administrative staff and low-tech users can instantly upload, manage and publish content on their websites, social sites, mobile apps, TV apps, podcasts, and beyond, with ease, from any desktop or tablet, and from anywhere in the world.

Workflow presets allow to automate workflows, drag- and-drop schedulers to create linear TV Channels, live-event managers to create live-streams, and audio channels to create podcasts. Fully integrated transcoding services automate the encoding and optimization of video and audio files for instant maximum device compatibility across all OTT, mobile, and desktop devices.

Kisslinger says today everyone is trying to “invent” a new transport protocol for live-streams, maybe due to hypes in TV series or because VC money is available for it. But the reality is that the protocol of a live-stream is just a marginal factor in the overall scope of services media publishers need. It does not make such a big difference in the viewer’s experience. In the end, what matters is that end-users, viewers, can access your streams, video libraries, audio libraries, language versions on all of their favorite devices and that they can find your brand in all major app-stores. Lightcast.com has, therefore, always focused on providing just that: a comprehensive app framework, easy content management, integrated monetization tools, and all in every publisher’s branding. “That is what it’s all about: making our customers brands big and providing them with all the necessary tools to upload, manage, publish and monetize all of their live and on-demand contents easily and from anywhere in the world, without being dependent on content managers, engineers, sysadmins or web and app developers,” he explains. Kisslinger and his team are focusing on the continuous development of the award-winning Lightcast Media Cloud, additional and lucrative monetization tools for publishers, and the continuous advancement of the proprietary Lightcast.com Cloud Infrastructure, which integrates the largest CDNs and transcoding farms on the planet today, all to the benefit of our customers and their viewers.

For instance, WWNLIVE onboarded with Lightcast.com with the requirement to provide a robust streaming service for live-events and on-demand delivery and to rebuild the pay- per-view web interface for greater scalability. In the process, Lightcast.com built, launched, and hosted a new website for WWNLIVE.com, with an online merchandise store, pay-per- view store, event system, user registration, and account system, media archives, and live-stream areas - all fully integrated on the WWNLIVE.com website.

At the same time, Lightcast.com built and launched WWNLIVE’s Roku and FireTV App and developed APIs to load PPV purchases of user accounts and subscription- based content on Roku sign-in. It was decided to roll out WWNLIVE’s subscription offer on WWNLIVE’s website and TV Apps developed by Lightcast.com.com, under the name “Club WWN.” The new Club WWN subscription offer uses the LightcastEasyPay Multi-Platform Subscription System for authentication on web players (such as on www.wwnlive.com ) and mobile, WWNLIVE’s Facebook app, and TV Apps such as Roku and FireTV. The advantage was the extremely low setup cost and fast time-to-market, the multi-platform experience for subscribers, and the simple rev-share system in WWNLIVE’s favor.

During Wrestlemania in 2017, it became clear how fast WWNLIVE’s viewership was growing. The need to expand website hosting and optimize for future growth became the highest priority to respond to. Luckily Lightcast’s global CDN presence with failover, redundancies, and almost limitless scalability allowed WWNLIVE to serve their website, live-streaming, and on-demand media contents to an influx of simultaneous viewers, amounting to 7 figures rapidly. Since WWNLIVE’s onboarding with Lightcast.com, their thriving fanbase and passionate community kept growing, purchasing more PPV tickets, watching live and on-demand on the web, mobile, and OTT, and subscribing to Club WWN memberships continuously.

Building  A​ Future

Anticipating the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on small- and midsize businesses, Kisslinger issued a relief-plan for struggling organizations beginning of March 2020, which included a payment reduction grant customers could apply for. Besides, he immediately started recording personal video messages for customers to assure them of Lightcast’s support during these times. Parallel to that, he was personally involved in composing newsletters and both internal and external communication to address the many opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown periods brought along for media publishers and organizations of all industries, as well as the necessary solutions needed to launch virtual experiences for viewers rapidly, customers, supporters and to participate in the opportunity provided by explosive growth in streaming media consumption of the public.

Over the years, Lightcast.com has received numerous awards for its content management system, the Lightcast Media Cloud. In 2018 the American Business Awards named the Media Cloud as the best new content management system of the year, in 2018 and 2019, StreamingMedia Magazine selected Lightcast.com as one of the 50 streaming providers which matter the most, and in 2019 Inc. Magazine started to list Lightcast. com among the 5000 fastest growing companies in the United States and Kisslinger aims at growing the number for the time to come The company has an ambitious development roadmap for the expansion of the Media Cloud, with a multitude of additional features and innovations, and the continuous extension of the real-time App Builder, Analytics Suite, App Framework, Multi- Platform Pay-Per-View Automation, and EasyPay Subscriber Processing System. “Several key partnerships with major brands in a variety of verticals will take our comprehensive services to more customers,” adds Kisslinger.