Interview with Grant Koeneke, VP of Digital Engineering at REVOLT TV
With a target audience between the ages of 16 and 25, REVOLT TV delivers a new sort of music-related programming — the kind that reflects viewing habits of the young and incessantly web-connected.
These viewers don’t just see and interact with REVOLT’s content through their TV sets. They view it on their phones, share it on social media, and contribute to on-air conversations, sometimes directly.
Owned in part by hip hop artist and industry magnate Sean “Diddy” Combs, the network seeks to edify 25 million households about vibrant underground cultures and music subgenres. Sean Combs calls it “the ESPN of music.”
Given REVOLT’s objectives, access to the latest video technologies is key to connecting with viewers and expanding the brand’s global reach. We recently caught up with Grant Koeneke, VP of Digital Engineering at REVOLT TV, to discuss what he thinks today’s young viewers expect from a TV experience. Below is a portion of our exclusive interview followed by a video we created based on the conversation.
Verizon Digital Media Services: How does your target demographic consume media?
Grant: Our viewers are showing us what the future of TV will look like. For them, a television hanging on the wall is yesterday’s technology. They’re viewing and interacting with media on mobile devices, and that means the future of TV is, quite literally, in their hands. They consume media everywhere. And we expect this trend to grow over the next few years.
Also, this generation grew up with HD television. Whether to deliver HD content isn’t even part of the question. These viewers demand it. So in addition to mobile accessibility, all video needs to meet the highest standards for quality.
Verizon: To what extent does audience interaction influence REVOLT’s strategy?
Grant: Our viewers flood us with comments on social media, and that’s exactly what we want. We want them to use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other avenues to connect with us and be part of the conversation. It’s a completely two-way conversation. We’re just facilitating it.
We’ve made it so viewers can interact with us in real time, right here in the studio. They use their mobile devices and web apps to call in.
Verizon: How important are those kinds of strategies to this generation of viewers?
Grant: One thing we’ve learned about this audience, especially the younger set, is that they don’t just want to contribute to the conversation — they want to be seen contributing to it. They want others to see them saying whatever it is they have to say.
In the past, you would see comments from people who covered up their names. You didn’t know who they were. But we’re seeing that people of this generation do want to be known. So when we want viewers to interact with the host or a guest, we reach out to them directly and let them say their piece.
What’s great, too, is that technology is allowing us to have these conversations and meet the needs of these viewers. It’s helped us change how we do things and align our approach with the way we get content to our target audience.
Verizon: What kinds of technologies are helping you meet the expectations of these viewers?
Grant: So we have a MAM, or media asset management system, that we use to store files right here in the studio. We need to keep that system onsite because it helps us send files immediately to our live channel. We integrated that system with Verizon’s Broadcast Solution to ensure reliable and instant on-demand delivery of our content to viewers everywhere. At a traditional network, it would take a couple of days to complete that process.