We spoke with George Strompolos, founder and CEO of Fullscreen, about his company, how they work with YouTube channels and brands, and what the future holds for online video.
George Strompolos is the founder and CEO of Los Angeles based Fullscreen, a digital media company that has created an online video network built upon the YouTube platform. Prior to this, George was the strategic partnerships manager at YouTube where he helped create and manage YouTube’s Partner Program. In 2008 the Hollywood Reporter listed him as one of the top 35 executives under 35. He is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and can be followed at @gstrompolos.
Tell us about your background and what inspired you to start Fullscreen?
I have always been fascinated by the intersection of media and technology. My career path ultimately lead me to Google where I helped create YouTube’s partner monetization program. As YouTube matured over the years, the online video industry was maturing in parallel. Some people have compared it to the evolution of cable television. I was convinced that this massive shift in the media industry would bring about a handful of great new companies. I was inspired to create one, and that is Fullscreen.
What does Fullscreen offer and how do you work with YouTube channels?
Fullscreen is the most advanced company working in the YouTube space today. We offer a range of tools and services to YouTube creators worldwide which help them develop and monetize an audience. We also work with several major brands and media companies to help them harness YouTube, the world’s third largest website. Our network of channels generates well over a billion views every month. That kind of scale enables us to create network effects to cross-promote channels and help them grow.
How do you work with the brands?
We provide a truly turnkey YouTube solution for brands, from channel management and metadata optimization to talent integrations and targeted media packages. In short, Fullscreen helps brands win at YouTube.
Where do you see online video heading over the next 1-3 years?
A lot will change, simply because the industry is evolving so rapidly. Some key trends I see are the importance of audience data, the rise of talent as distributor, and the return of destination sites. I also think there are a handful of new media companies being born right now that will become mainstays in the coming decades, which is exciting.
Will online video and traditional television coexist, merge or will one displace the other?
I think they’ll coexist for years to come. Broadcasting, narrowcasting, and social video are all fairly different ideas.
What are the biggest challenges in this space?
We’ve shifted to a world of infinite channels. Having a channel is no longer special. YouTube solved that for everyone. Now, the biggest challenge (and opportunity) is one of audience development. How can you build an audience in a world of infinite choice? It’s an exciting challenge.