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SMW '19: Flavor Inc.'s Jose Castillo Talks Streaming Media Past and Future

Read the complete transcript of this interview:

Tim Siglin: Jose Castillo is with me, of course I'm Tim Siglin, Contributing Editor for Streaming Media Magazine. Jose and I live about 20 miles from each other and we get to see each other twice a year. Once in New York City, once in Southern California, which is in downtown L.A. this year, this event's done. Huntington Beach. You've been around for a while.

Jose Castillo: Make me sound like part of the furniture.

Tim: '96 was it?

Jose: Whatever-

Tim: I'm sorry not '96, 2006.

Jose: No, no, no, no it was 15-

Tim: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I guess 2004.

Jose: I don't know, it's been quite a few years. Yes, I have been around then.

Tim: And you went from showing up, to actually being an integral part of the structure of these events.

Jose: Well, it was fun and I have you, Tim Siglin, to blame for that because I was interested in technology and really was kind of geeking out on some stuff. And this is still fairly early on in the internet days, and hardware and software.

Tim: This is back when we're doing Geek South, there in Tennessee. And I'm like, "Hey, there's this show in New York, you need to come up to."

Jose: Yeah and so, you said, "If you write an article for the magazine, then Eric will get you a ticket to the show."

Tim: Right.

Jose: So, I go up to New York and I wrote the article, and Eric loved it. And it was kind of a unique, funny perspective on technology and that was something that wasn't really going on in the trade publications at the times.

Tim: You're unique and funny in a way that most of us, who are geeks, just don't really work.

Jose: Basically I got a job because I was a little funny.

Tim: Right, right.

Jose: That's what it was.

Tim: And you worked with Dan Rayburn for a number of years, obviously. And now you're working with Eric, who's taken over that role as well. So, how's the show for you, from the early days that you were in that, and you really only came in maybe 6 years after the very first show. But, you've seen it, as you said for 15 years. How has the, sort of, morphed, what are the emphasis changes that have sort of come into play?

Jose: Everything is different, and everything is the same. It really is interesting to me how, the trends change, what we call the technology changes. But it all stays the same. It's interesting like, today in the keynote Amazon Fire talking about their Fire TV. And they launch a new device-

Tim: Called the Blaster.

Jose: The Blaster. And it's an infrared blaster, That's something that's 20- year-old technology

Tim: As soon as you said Blaster, that's exactly what came to mind was this little device that you press and it would shoot it to a whole bunch of different-

Jose: So it's, again, everything is new.

Tim: A home automation solution.

Jose: Right, but everything is the same. So, we're solving new problems, we're seeing new exciting technology come out. But a lot of it goes back to the heart of helping people find or watch content.

Tim: Well, and that's true. I mean discovery, if you think about, it in the early days. You would buy like a web DB, and you'd have this mini keyboard you'd have to type stuff in on.

Jose: With a Google TV.

Tim: Right, yeah. Yeah, I had the Sony one, that felt like the Play Station. But then you went from that sort of full keyboard to the total opposite direction with Apple and the minimalist six button device.

Jose: Yeah.

Tim: Now, obviously what Alexa and other tools are doing, is using voice to do that. So, you're right, fundamentally we are discovering and playing content. Do you think that the intent of streaming has changed? Because back in the early days of the show there was a lot of enterprise focus, and then there was some education focus and entertainment. It seems like we cycle through those things as well.

Jose: We do. I think the walls have broken down a little bit, because it used to be very segregated. B2B, B2C. This is enterprise-level stuff, this is consumer-level stuff. But now, it's just everything's together and I think that's one of the big shifts we've seen. Is that now, you have everybody playing in every space. The big boys down to the little boys are all in the same arena.

Tim: Fair play and speaking of play, within eSports and gaming and that kind of thing. Who would have thought when we first started in this, that Twitch would sell for over a billion dollars, which is just watching, you remember Justin.tv, which was his whole live streaming thing. Then suddenly it became about people watching video games. And somebody was telling me recently, I'm not a gamer, but somebody was telling me recently that the reason they really like Twitch at low latency, is so that they can play along in the game themselves and find the moves that they need to do if they can keep up. Where if it was 12 seconds delayed, they'd be sitting there waiting to battle some monster and not know what to do and like that.

Jose: Yeah, those kinds of things have made the connectedness only better. And that's why I think it comes back to relationships and community. And I see some of the same people for the last 15 years that have been a part of this industry. And those relationships that I have with them personally, but also from a business stand point, is amazing to me. This is a small, tight-knit community, and I feel like it's been an honor to be a part of it over the last 15 years and have these friendships built that way.

Tim: And streaming has allowed you to do something that you're doing completely outside of this, the NASCAR Trackside Live. I mean, that relies on streaming as a portion of--

Jose: It really does.

Tim: It's delivery.

Jose: Yeah, it's funny, I see these worlds colliding. Like whenever I see my NASCAR life and my Streaming Media life just collide. We actually have the keynote tomorrow, is one of the executives from NASCAR. Yeah, so it's going to be really fun to see. And by the way if you're watching out there, make sure you tune in tomorrow morning on streamingmedia.com, you can watch that keynote live, it's going to be a really good one.

Tim: And is that the 9AM?

Jose: Yes.

Tim: 9AM one, so that'll be noon on the east coast.

Jose: Yeah. So, I think the colliding of those areas for me, it's fun because I always felt like they were separate. This is very geeky over here and over here I'm being a host and having fun in the entertainment world. And so to see the overlap and those things coming together is always fun.

Tim: Awesome. All right, Jose, thanks for sitting down with us. We'll be right back with the next interview and hopefully-

Jose: Hey, hey hang on, hang on. Before you go, give me a shout out, make sure you hit me up @thinkjose on Twitter, Instagram. Send me a little note, I want to know what your thoughts are on your favorite Streaming Media moment. And I went back through and read through some of our old articles that we wrote years ago, and my daughter was reading through them and it was hilarious. So, send me your favorite Streaming Media moment and I'll see you guys online, thanks Tim.

Tim: You'll have to bring, I know you've brought Shannon before, you'll have to bring one of your daughters to one of these shows.

Jose: Oh my goodness, they would love it.

Tim: And we'll sit down and do an interview with them.

Jose: Oh no, I don't know if we can allow that.

Tim: All right, girls. You heard that.

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