Jon Steinberg

Jon Steinberg

CEO Cheddar & CNBC Contributor. Formerly BuzzFeed President & COO

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON February 29, 2016

Discussion

Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
Hi I'm Jon Steinberg. I just started a new video news company called Cheddar, focussed on covering the most interesting companies, technologies, and media transforming our lives. We will broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Before that I was the President and COO of BuzzFeed. I'm obsessed with how media is being transformed. I also have two little kids, a cat, and I love flying drones.
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Jon! Congrats on Cheddar🧀! Here's my question: At BuzzFeed, you saw the business model of not putting ads up on the page, but rather embedding ads natively into articles or listacles which naturally went viral. Now as you launch Cheddar, are you going to be focusing on monetizing the same "natural" way that you saw at BuzzFeed, or what do you think the next wave after "native ads" will be? Thanks!! 😄
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@mrsharma I think direct subscriptions are the key now. Replicating the cable model of distribution. Also on air sponsorships
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
Hey Jon, Whats on your homescreen?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@bentossell uber, slack, twitter, gmail, byline (RSS reader) and phone...
Antonin LAPICHE
Antonin LAPICHE@airlikidh2 · Product Design @ Orange
Why the name Cheddar? What's your favourite cheese? why?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@airlikidh2 yes its my favorite cheese...and it means money
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What living person would you most love to interview?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@jacqvon Elon Musk...he is the Edison of our time
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@jacqvon he was a good dad
Oliviax
Oliviax@oliviameng
Hi Jon, thanks for joining us here! My name is Olivia and I works as TV analyst. I am wondering how do you position Cheddar in the market(who do you see as competitors)? In term of marketing competency, what makes Cheddar different from other micro-content(Snapchat, twitter)? if you don't mind, I am also wondering what metric system do you use to measure Cheddar's performance? Thank you!!
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@oliviameng Thinking about it more like House of Cards or a show like that where a network distributes content from a partner. The cable model. Also we are focussed just on tech media and consumer companies
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@jonsteinberg thanks so much for joining us today. Would love to hear what you think the biggest determinants were of the immense success of @Buzzfeed and how have you transitioned them to your new venture with Cheddar? Would absolutely love to have you on @twentyminutevc to discuss further and recently had the pleasure of having Gary Swart on the show so would be fantastic to make it a Polaris Week! Let me know what you think!
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@harrystebbings @buzzfeed @twentyminutevc Social traffic, amazing editorial, and the unique native content model...those were the keys to BuzzFeed becoming BuzzFeed...and an amazing team of course.
Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn@garymcohn
Jon -- Would Cheddar be interested in a collaboration/content sharing op w/ Detroit based www.StartupNation.com currently in refresh? Audience 24-35 involved in startups, small biz, and entrepreneurs. Gary
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@garymcohn Think we need to get our own content started and great first
Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn@garymcohn
On a personal note, heard you love drones, could I interest you in droneview tech?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@garymcohn whats droneview tech?
Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn@garymcohn
@jonsteinberg I'd help you promote and distribute content via StartupNation. Wouldn't need to push from our side.
Mitch Schneider
Mitch Schneider@mitchschneider · Social Communications Manager, Beamr Vid
Hi Jon- congrats on Cheddar. How are you optimizing the video feed to cut buffering time?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@mitchschneider We are using a large XO internet connection and using custom hardware to encode...look on my twitter feed
Mitch Schneider
Mitch Schneider@mitchschneider · Social Communications Manager, Beamr Vid
@jonsteinberg any chance we can collaborate together? I work for Beamr, aka - the real life Pied Piper (if you watch Silicon Valley). Would love to see if we can help you out - http://beamr.com/
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Jon thanks for joining today. In your career to date, what has a) most surprised you? b) most scared you? c) made you the most proud?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge The thing you worry about is never the thing...worrying about it ensures that is not the issue! also proud of the most recent milestone whatever that is
max zimbert
max zimbert@maxzimbert
Hey Jon! Great seeing you here. What are your favorite apps/services to stay organized and stay focussed?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@maxzimbert Evernote, Slack, Clear TODO organizer and lots of paper...I also keep a pad near my bed
Mitchell Patterson
Mitchell Patterson@upstatevc · Odd Networks / Hack Upstate
Hi Jon. Was curious what you think the impact of streaming and OTT will have on media companies going forward.
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@upstatevc I basically think this is the future of all video...there will be no "channels" or cable boxes..look at the recent FCC decision
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
What is so hard about news apps in your opinion?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@bentossell I think people want their news from feeds...like twitter/FB ...not a dedicated app.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
What emerging markets are you most interested in?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@bentossell tech and media...I'm obsessed thats what I love
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
What do you think about drone racing?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@bentossell Love it...would watch it all day!
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
what is Cheddar's target demo?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@djksar people in their 20s and 30s who love tech and media companies and want a dedicated OTT channel for that
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
@jonsteinberg thanks for the response. what are going to be the primary channels you will distribute content besides your own website?
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What was the most challenging thing about being COO at BuzzFeed?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge you have to grow and reinvent yourself at each stage...and become steady and mellow which is hard for me
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
Do you have a top 5 list of people or companies that you would like to interview in the first few months?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@djksar tesla, twitter, facebook, google, chipotle, lululemon
Steven Marder
Steven Marder@steven_marder · COO, Hollywood.com
Hi Jon. What do you expect will be the split between mobile, desktop and OTT consumption of your video content? also, live streaming vs on demand? and, are you planning much of a focus on non-video? Thanks. For typing here consider using voice dictation on Mac as you answer live. PS. love my drone too!
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@steven_marder I think screens on walls is wide open. As is ambient background live content. Smaller markets then phone or desktop...but wide open right now...and will be BIG markets
Andy Kilgore
Andy Kilgore@andykilgore1 · Oil and Gas Professional
Any chance we get some drone shots and fly arounds of the NYSE on Cheddar? :p
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@andykilgore1 definitely no drone shots...not allowed!
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What's the best advice you've ever been given? Flip side, what's the worst?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge I think most advice tends to be out dated. Advice about management is enduring...advice about products, technology, and markets fades fast. The learner's mind and eyes are key
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Who have been some of your mentors? In life and business?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge My mentors were Jerry Speyer who I worked with fresh out of college...he is an innovator in the real estate world. And Trevor Bryant my mentor at Disney Imagineering...both taught me tons about behavior, ideas, and getting things done
Ayrton De Craene
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Clearbit
What did you wanna do when you grew up?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ayrtonbe I wanted to be a Disney Imagineer https://medium.com/self-starter/...
Josh Barkin
Josh Barkin@joshbarkin · Co-founder @ Janis.ai
Hi Jon - It seems like 1000's of publishers cloned the Buzzfeed content and distribution model through Facebook. The formula was overused and it made the news feed really noisy leading to poor user experiences. I think Facebook's new "Instant Articles" is great and it will force more publishers to re-think monetization by delivering content entirely through Facebook. The more sophisticated publishers like Buzzfeed via newer video-based content brands like "Tasty" and other companies like "Now This" have just brought the entire information experience into Facebook already and it seems to be working. 1) Do you see this as the future for news content distribution... where it's just about pumping out great content to social networks 2) How do see brands integrated into this video content and do you think video content publishers will be able to monetize this way.
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@joshbarkin You always need a new idea. Especially in media...doing what someone did late doesn't work. You can't skate to where the puck is.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Do you have any regrets? Or is there anything on your path that you would have done differently?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge I made every possible career mistake you could make...beating myself up about it is what I wish I had not done...wasted time and energy.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What do you hope the media landscape will look like in 5, 10 - 20 years?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge I think the biggest change will be no "tv" and no traditional "channels" - there will be a whole new set of competition
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
@jonsteinberg can you expand any more on this?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge think the internet will be all media...and everything will be as competitive as the web.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
How did you get into flying Drones? What's something we should know about drones, but don't?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@ems_hodge you gotta be really careful...fly in open fields...do not fly in nyc...too dangerous
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
Are you going to buy @cheddar on Twitter?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@djksar @cheddar not really worried about the twitter handle...twitter doesn't drive much traffic....cheddar.com was what I cared about...and you can easily find cheddar on facebook...I contacted @cheddar but he didnt reply...
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's something you used to fervently believe about media that you now see as fundamentally misguided?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@eriktorenberg I think I go back and forth on fast things will change...print to completely go away, TV to completely transition to internet. But then some things happen faster than I thought - like in home broadband...I think media and technology go through the following three step process: 1) This is gonna happen fast! 2) This is never going to happen 3) wow how did that happen so fast. I think I get tripped up on #1 a lot. Also I thought Segway would be huge...I admit it...
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Future of Media - what's something underrated? overrated?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@eriktorenberg I think Apple TV and Roku. I think everyone will have one in there homes in the coming few years...they will be as defining to the living room as iOS and Android...I mean why wouldnt that happen???
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's the future of journalism - how do journalists make a living in the future that's different from today?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@eriktorenberg OK thx everyone!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What are your thoughts on Vox and Vice?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@eriktorenberg Think they will both be deifining media companies that will replace some of the incumbents...in the move to OTT not all the incumbent TV channels will make it...just like newspapers to digital.
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
What does the day in the life look like for you? e.g. wake up at 5am, check email, shower, etc...
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@djksar hahaha why do you wanna know?
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
@jonsteinberg curious for the level you are at for your career and now that you are starting a company what is it like? follow-up question will be "How do you stay productive and on-task"?
Randy Ksar
Randy Ksar@djksar · I find cool things
Are you going to focus on US based transformation or attempt a wider global view?
Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg@jonsteinberg · CEO Cheddar. Formerly BuzzFeed President
@djksar start with the US...because I know the US market and need to learn other markets. I assume you mean for the coverage universe?
Jason Meeks
Jason Meeks@jasonkristofor · Making vision a reality @ISMConnect
Where did the name "Cheddar" originate from, is there a story behind it or was it more of a data-driven approach in the naming decision?