With a diverse background in digital distribution for the entertainment industry, our Chairman shares his digital start-up insight and thoughts on Genba Digital’s role in the rapidly shifting channels of game distribution.
Tell us a bit about your background before taking on the role of Chairman at Genba Digital.
I was an executive at various divisions of Sony Corp, helping to establish a digital supply chain service business for the entertainment industry (Motion Picture, Music and Video Games). This initially helped streamline content distribution for Sony’s wholly owned entertainment entities and later built solutions for the broader industry. At the time, we serviced about 70% of the music industry and multiple Hollywood Studios, helping to distribute their content to hundreds of digital retail channels, broadcasters and media services. In that capacity I helped build a global team of 400+ media tech professionals in offices around the world (Los Angeles, New York, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, etc). Before that, I ran a division that helped develop network solutions to bridge digital content and consumer electronics.
What have you seen from working in these other sectors that you think might influence or hint at a change to the future of video games?
Both the video and music industries went through significant changes over the last decade, driven by a fundamental change of how consumers enjoy entertainment content. User-friendly access to a vast catalogue of content became more important than owning content, leading to the rise of subscription services such as Netflix and Spotify. At the same time, these industries allowed for a very strong concentration of only a few media service platforms (Apple Music/Spotify for Music and Netflix/Prime for Video) that became more and more powerful and started to ‘own’ the customer and the powerful usage data that comes with it. In my observation, the games industry – now larger than both music and video entertainment – is putting much more consideration in making sure that a balanced ecosystem develops, offering its clients multiple channels to acquire and enjoy games content. Genba Digital plays a very important role in keeping this balance by helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem of multiple etailers around the globe, next to the publisher’s own initiatives and dominant retail platforms (like Steam). This diversity of etailers can only be maintained if there is a cost competitive digital supply chain platform in place which helps streamline content distribution for publishers.
Image from TechSpot.
You’ve worked with a number of start-up businesses over the years. What makes you most proud of Genba Digital?
As a venture capitalist working with a lot of early stage ventures, Genba Digital to me is a very unique business and has many advantages over traditional ‘start-ups’. As the concept and technology was ‘born’ within a larger corporation, it quickly reached a high level of technology and business maturity, beyond that of a typical start-up. After spinning out from Sony, Genba combined its heritage with a very entrepreneurial business attitude. This high level of professionalism extends to how Genba builds long-term relationships with clients and partners and has allowed Genba to establish itself as a well-respected player in the fast-paced gaming ecosystem.
Lastly, when you find time outside of the fast-paced world of Genba, how do you fill it?
Although I’m always on the move across the globe to support the various ventures that I’m invested in, I still love traveling in general – discovering new, off the beaten track, destinations. I’m always pushing myself to be more active, which has led me to recently pick up playing tennis again. Weekends are typically reserved for quality family time with my wife and two kids, Isabella (10) and Constantin (8).