Jan 04 2024

A Letter From Our Founder

Ross McCray, Founder of VideoAmp

VideoAmp Team, Clients, Shareholders & Partners –

We have always believed humanity will thrive when every person on the planet has access to the world’s library of media entertainment, educational information and independent thought. A high majority of humankind cannot afford to pay for these services directly with subscription fees, making a healthy advertising ecosystem required with an equitable 3-way value exchange between the consumer, content provider and advertiser.

We started VideoAmp 10 years ago because we believed this was at risk. We believed legacy media measurement and currency companies were the source of an ineffective advertising ecosystem. We believed they were egregiously misrepresenting the truth of consumer behavior, making all advertising and media less valuable while also unnecessarily putting all consumer privacy at risk.

Our mission since day 1 has been to increase the value of advertising in order to help humanity maintain and grow access to the world’s library of media entertainment, educational information and independent thought. We have committed our last 10 years to redefine the way media is valued, bought and sold. We have worked tirelessly to achieve our mission and invented new technologies that have since become the gold standard in protecting consumer privacy for the entire industry.

The last founder letter I wrote in 2021 marked a significant milestone for VideoAmp. There were massive seachanges in our industry and everyone was finally fed up with legacy media currency companies destroying the ecosystem. We declared our position and announced we would double down and focus the company on this generational opportunity to become the new standard and leader of all modern media currencies.

Today I am releasing another founder letter that marks a new milestone. Almost 3-years later, we have moved from an intention of becoming a media currency to becoming the leading modern media currency in the United States. We have now proven over and over again that when using a modern media currency, everyone wins. Marketers increase the return of their advertising investment, media sellers increase their revenues from media and consumers gain better experiences with the privacy they deserve.

We have since announced partnerships and have gone live with most of the world’s largest media companies: from Amazon, Disney, YouTube, Warner Bros. Discovery, Facebook/Instagram, NBCU, Paramount, Weather Channel, TelevisaUnivision, Hallmark and more. We have seen over 1,400% year over year growth of VideoAmp media currency transactions in 2023 and next year looks even bigger. Over 1,000 advertisers have already booked billions of dollars of guarantees on our currency in 2024.

I could not be prouder of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into these accomplishments from our team, clients and partners. You have all been the innovators and early adopters. The early and late majority are now following your footsteps. You are the dream and lifeblood of all entrepreneurs. Without all of your deep conviction, belief and courage to bet on a better way – none of this would have happened.

VideoAmp is now the well-established leader in modern media measurement, currency and optimization. Our company has grown up and is now entering a new phase of scale, maturity and operations. With deep contemplation and mindfulness, I believe this milestone also marks the natural time to transition from a founder-led company to a world class company that can thrive for over 100 years without a reliance on its Founder.

As of today, I am stepping down as CEO and announcing the Executive Team that will lead our company going forward.

This was an extremely hard and emotional decision for me. I always knew after starting VideoAmp – if we were successful – this day would come. I have wished and dreaded for this day to come for 10 years. I love this service. I love our mission, employees, clients and partners. But it is time for me to pass the baton and return back to my original love and roots of earlier stage company building.

I continue to be deeply committed to VideoAmp for the long term. I will remain active and a part of our company as our Founder, Board Member and Shareholder. I look forward to working with you all in this new way.

I am proud to announce our new Executive Team:

  1. Peter Liguori will become our Executive Chairman
    1. Previously CEO of Tribune Media, COO of Discovery Communication and Chairman of Fox Entertainment. Also served on the Board of Yahoo! and MGM
  2. Peter Bradbury will newly join us as our Chief Commercial & Growth Officer
    1. Previously Chief Commercial Officer of Nielsen, including over 26-years at Nielsen
  3. Tony Fagan will be promoted to President of Technology & Strategy
    1. Previously CTO of VideoAmp for two and a half years, and a senior leader at Google for 15-years running data science and engineering teams and creating products for advertising planning, optimization and measurement
  4. Josh Hudgins will be promoted to Chief Product Officer
    1. Previously EVP of Product and a senior leader at Google for 10-years overseeing products for Google Search and Google Ads
  5. Paul Ross as our CFO and Board Member
    1. Previously in the role for 3-years and was the CFO of the Trade Desk for 6-years, taking the company public and growing shareholder value in the years following the IPO
  6. Jenny Wall as our Chief Marketing Officer
    1. Joined VideoAmp 1-year ago. Previously the CMO at Nickelodeon, Gimlet Media (Spotify) and senior marketing roles at Netflix and Hulu
  7. Marisa Peters as our Chief People Officer
    1. Has been in this role for over 4-years. Previously the CPO at Atom Tickets and senior global HR leader at Amazon and Sony Pictures
  8. Hari Sankar as our Chief Data Officer
    1. Has been with VideoAmp for nearly 7-years, previously overseeing product and other operational functions

Peter Liguori, our new Executive Chairman, has already partnered with us for years at VideoAmp as a board member and active advisor. He has been invaluable to our team. He has earned complete trust from me and is one of the best leaders I have met in my life. He is a proven operational leader and is perfect for scaling VideoAmp in this next phase. Prior to VideoAmp, he was CEO of Tribune Media, where he led the purchase of metadata for Gracenote and its eventual sale to Nielsen. Before that, he was COO of Discovery Communications, Chairman of FOX Entertainment when the network was ranked #1 for four consecutive years under his leadership, and CEO of FX Networks. He has also served on the boards of world class companies like Yahoo! and MGM.

Five years ago, I wrote the below in his offer letter to join our board as our first Independent Director:

You get the business mission intimately and share our sense of urgency to strike while the iron is hot. The time is now and we are in a position of strength. I believe you can add a lot of value to our next chapter of growth and I can learn a lot from you personally.

Peter accepted our offer and he replied to me with:

I completely share your enthusiasm for what we can do together in unlocking the value that you have created and will create in this space. I have faith in you. Comfort with you. And root for you.

Five years later, we were right. I can’t believe the things we have done together. While a lot of things have changed, some things haven’t.

Peter, I have faith in you. Comfort with you. And root for you.

I always knew we would figure it out. But 10 years ago, as a 22-year old, broke founder, with a terrible track record – I could have never imagined this.

A prospective angel investor’s instagram post almost 10 years ago when VideoAmp was one week old: