Video saved the radio star: Portland startup Vadio lands key executive talent and more fuel in the tank

While there are any number of things that make scaling a startup difficult, finding executive talent that can help transition the company through changes can be one of the most challenging. And it’s often something for which Portland gets dinged—that lack of seasoned executive talent. That’s why it’s nice to see Portland’s Vadio securing some impressive leadership and some more funding.

And we’re not the only ones excited about this. Here’s a roundup of the coverage from today’s new.

Wired: Videos are going to save streaming music

Vadio’s team says it’s found that incorporating video into streaming platforms gives users more of a reason to look down at their phones, or up at the TV. Having videos there changes the user behavior, keeping them engaged in the app for longer, Clemmer claims.

And even if users don’t always want to watch videos all the time, when they do, they should have the option. “There are a lot of music services on your Apple TV, for example, that don’t have video and it makes no sense,” adds Landau. “If you’re cooking and listening to music through your TV, you probably want to watch it, too.”

Variety: Internet Music-Video Startup Vadio Raises $7.5 Million, Taps Ex-Sony Exec Yair Landau as Chairman and COO

“We are a B2B (business-to-business) company that provides music video content plus the tech for platforms – the Spotifys, Pandoras, iHeartRadios and Shazams of the world — that don’t incorporate video,” Vadio CEO Bryce Clemmer said.

GeekWire: Vadio raises $7.5M for music video streaming platform, taps ex-Sony president as COO

Vadio, a graduate of the Portland Incubator Experiment and Portland Seed Fund, makes money with a revenue-sharing model by partnering with customers like Virgin International, Lachlan Murdoch’s Nova Entertainment, and European Media Group.

“We are basically converting audio CPM into video CPM,” said Landau, the former Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “We are increasing the size of the pie and taking a slice.”

Portland Business Journal: Vadio lands $7.5M and two big-name execs

“For instance, if you are connected to Apple TV and listening to Pandora, or Spotify or iHeartRadio you just listen to audio only,” said Vadio CEO Bryce Clemmer. “Think about incorporating music videos into all the streaming platforms.”

Which is where Vadio comes in.

Los Angeles Times: Former Sony, Vevo executives join video start-up Vadio

Music streaming services are struggling to make money. By handling music video rights and embedding videos and video ads into apps, Vadio could create a new revenue stream for the streaming services. Vadio, of course, would take part of the cut.

Billboard: Vadio Raises $7.5 Million, Former Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff and Sony Pictures COO Added

Caraeff likens Vadio to the early days of Vevo, where he was founding CEO in 2009 after long stints at Universal Music Group and Sony Pictures Digital. “One of our goals was to increase music video ubiquity in more ways than ever before, and be compatible with all the different platforms, territories and use cases,” Caraeff tells Billboard. “I always wanted to take the friction out of video — it’s hard for businesses to integrate — and when I met Bryce and learned how Vadio’s ambition was to do just that, I could relate to the opportunity.”

Video Ink: Music Video Startup Vadio Raises $7.5M, Hires Former Sony Exec Yair Landau

“I believe any digital platform that can incorporate video, will incorporate video,” says Bryce Clemmer, CEO of Vadio. “Therefore there is an increasingly high demand for visual content, specifically music videos — viewership of music videos online in the U.S. has grown more than 800% in the last six years — so Vadio is in a position to deliver a turnkey solution to existing streaming music services by providing the capability to quickly incorporate premium music videos.”

The Oregonian: Vadio, Portland video streaming startup, lands $7.5 million and key entertainment exec

Sometimes those execs become advisers or board members, sometimes they take over as chief executive. Portland startup Vadio has managed an unusual trick, recruiting a top former Sony executive for a key operational role at the company – but not the top job.

Hypebot: Vadio Adds $7.5 Million Funding For Music Video Distribution, Names New COO

“This round of funding and the simultaneous growth of our leadership team are two significant moves for Vadio as we continue to grow and bring change to the streaming music experience,” Vadio CEO Bryce Clemmer said.

“Music videos completely changed the entertainment industry when they were first broadcast on television. Now, through Vadio, there is the opportunity to once again transform the industry by moving videos to the places where consumers already love to listen to music – streaming audio services. Yair and Rio’s experience is invaluable in helping Vadio lead this transformation. They are both pioneers in bringing new digital experiences to the mainstream in the music and entertainment industries.”

CNET: Former Vevo, Sony top execs join music-video startup Vadio

Bryce Clemmer, chief executive of Vadio, said the addition of Caraeff as an adviser and Landau as chief operating officer and chairman will bolster Vadio in partnerships with a couple major streaming platforms that will be announced soon. He declined to specify which companies.

Landau and Caraeff both worked at Sony, where Landau served for 17 years. While there, Landau oversaw some of the studio’s earliest ventures into the Internet, including working on a user-generated video platform several years before the first YouTube upload. He most recently was a partner at MK Capital while serving as president of Mass Animation, a virtual animation studio that he founded in 2008.

All Access: Vadio Adds Funding, Names Yair Landau Chairman/COO

“VADIO is evolving the way that consumers experience music by providing a platform for streaming destinations to incorporate visual content and infuse two things that people already love – streaming music and videos,” said RICK SCANLON, a Founding Partner of MARKER, which led the funding round. “By offering a platform that both enables media companies to profit and grow and gives consumers an enhanced experience, VADIO is poised to reshape the music and entertainment industry.”

For more information, visit Vadio.

[Full disclosure: Vadio is an alum of PIE. I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE.]

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