Profile: FeedRoom CEO Bart Feder
In late 2004, one of the most prominent companies in the streaming media space made the announcement that there was a new sheriff in town. Bart Feder took over as the FeedRoom’s CEO, succeeding Jon Klein, who had accepted a position with CNN as President of CNN/U.S. Since then, the FeedRoom has gone through a lot of changes. StreamingMedia.com decided the time was right to sit down with Feder and discuss this transition, as well as Feder’s take on the FeedRoom’s evolution from startup to success.
As with any transition at the top, the new guy has to put in long hours to get up to speed on all of the responsibilities. That wasn’t much of an issue for Feder. "Obviously with Jon’s departure the challenges are daily. There’s no rest," says Feder, who was previously the FeedRoom’s general manager. "I did have the advantage, though, of having been here since the beginning. Even though it was a new job, I certainly knew how the company worked."
And Feder has taken his understanding of the company and capitalized on it to lead the FeedRoom into hitherto unseen territory. "The greatest accomplishment of the year so far has been that we ended the first quarter with our first profitability," he says. This is a brave new world for the FeedRoom, and one in which Feder revels, knowing that the company is now doing what so many of its peers have failed to accomplish. "I think we’re the only company founded in ’99 to do online video that’s still around," he says. "And then to turn it into a real business and gain profitability is terrific. I think that speaks to where the video space has gotten to.
"After a lot of time in the desert in 2003, things have turned around. All of a sudden we’re hot. People want to know how to take advantage of [online video]," Feder continues. The driving force behind the FeedRoom’s growth has come from this burgeoning market for assisting companies in getting their streaming strategies off the ground. "It was really about changing the business from being a destination site to becoming a service provider," he says. "We recognized that we had the expertise, the technology, and a level of services that could allow any company or corporation to take advantage of that and to pay us to bring them into the world of online video. That business model--where people actually pay you--I find to be the best one."