PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — Robert Kyncl had a front row seat to the digital media revolution as chief business officer at YouTube, and before that, seven years at Netflix, where he served as vice president of content acquisitions.
Now, he’s co-written a book about how media has been re-invented, which he calls “Streampunks: YouTube and the Rebels Remaking Media.” The book is being released Tuesday.
In the book, Kyncl and co-author Maany Peyvan promise “the first detailed account of the rise of YouTube, the creative minds who have capitalized on it to become pop culture stars, and how streaming video is revolutionizing the media world,” according to their publisher, HarperCollins.
The creation of an open platform that appealed to both individuals at home, as well as established media companies brought “new formats to life, and new types of creators who have become really successful,” he says.
Kyncl says the new media revolution has led to a creative boom unlike any seen before, with a new kind of content that goes way beyond the narrow defines of what was considered broadcasting.
In the book, Kyncl spends a lot of time detailing some notable YouTube stars, like Tyler Oakley, Lilly Singh, and Casey Neistat, whose homemade videos attract millions of viewers.
In his day job, Kyncl oversees the creator community, partnerships with media firms, the YouTube Red subscription service, which aims to get fans to subscribe to originals from its stars, and YouTube TV. That’s the new service, launched earlier in the year, offering a “skinny bundle” of 50 channels to the cutting-the-cord crowd.
Despite YouTube’s success garnering hundreds of millions of views in the new online medium, Kyncl doesn’t think traditional TV is history.
“It’s not going away,” he says. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have done YouTube TV. We believe in it.” TV now just has to be delivered to the Internet audience in the way they expect, he says. “Searchable, on the phone, in your pocket and working everywhere.”
In an interview at YouTube’s production space here, Kyncl declined to reveal subscriber stats for the new YouTube TV. Market researcher Sensor Tower says some 2 million have downloaded the YouTube TV app.
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