In a sea of television networks launched in recent years that have looked to create unique viewer experiences, Reach TV is one that’s giving audiences a range of sports, TV, movies and entertainment in easily-digestible, shortened formats, says network executive Lynnwood Bibbens who currently serves as CEO.
According to The Wrap, Reach TV recently partnered with Overtime, a digital startup that focuses on high school sports. Launched in 2016, it has gone from 1 million monthly video views to currently bringing in more than 550 million views.
“We’re excited to bring Overtime content to even more fans through our partnership with Reach TV,” Zack Weiner, Overtime’s president and co-founder, said in the article. “This only adds to the tens of millions of people that already view our content each month, and provides Reach TV with what the data shows is the most engaging content in sports.”
Here, we caught up with Bibbens to learn more about what the network has in store for its audience.
TNJ.com: What sets Reach TV apart from other networks?
Lynnwood Bibbens: We are the first short-form linear entertainment television network. Short form meaning we are able to program 6 shows per hour, with no show lasting more than 10 minutes, and linear, meaning we’re just like any other TV network! Leading up to our launch, we were able to partner with great companies who were making great content, but needed help with distribution – that’s where we came in! On top of it, we built our own studio in the heart of Hollywood, which gave us the ability to create our own daily content as well, allowing us to launch without acquiring a library. Our biggest challenge was building our technology (it took over 6 months!), and we’re still constantly updating and making changes to make our platform the best it can be. We’re probably on version 200 now, as it’s extremely dynamic and highly scalable.
TNJ.com: What was your goal in launching it? Did you see a void in the market?
Lynnwood Bibbens: We saw an opportunity in the marketplace. As we traveled, networks didn’t know they were being played in the airport. Because of that, they had no ability to program based on customer viewing habits. Our goal was to be the first TV network for people on the go! We program 6 shows per hour, totaling to over 108 shows per day.
TNJ.com: You’ve embarked on some amazing partnerships throughout your career with top companies such as the NFL, NBA, Bloomberg, Hearst and more. What is the best approach to take when it comes to securing productive partnerships?
Lynnwood Bibbens: The key is to focus on what they need first. Then, think about how their needs fit into your business model. Win/Win has and will always be a top focus, in addition to delivering results. This means doing research, making calls and what I affectionately like to call “Doing the work!” By doing the work, you’re able to come up with a plan that works for all parties involved.
TNJ.com: When you think about leadership, what must high-ranking leaders of top companies do to remain innovative and relevant?
Lynnwood Bibbens: Hire a great team, constantly research and stay humble! I subscribe to innovative newsletters to stay on top of the trends – Jason Hirschhorn’s REDEF, Kara Swisher’s ReCode, and Dan Primack’s newsletter via Axios are all great. Also, it never hurts to have great friends like Kareem “Biggs” Burke who really keep me tied into the culture!
TNJ.com: In what way did your work with AOL, Yahoo, Google, Roku, CBS, Amazon, and Verizon lead to your current success as CEO of Reach TV? What lessons did you learn in those positions that have been helpful in your current role at Reach?
Lynnwood Bibbens: My partnership with those companies ranged from platform building to creating synergetic partnerships that led to acquisitions, global expansion, and a knowledge of how big companies work. This is important when you’re always the smallest company in a partnership. As CEO of Reach TV, our ability to have scaled to a national network in less than 3 years is mind boggling to these big companies because they’re not as nimble. Our ability to program on a national basis, airport basis, and terminal basis through our proprietary platform (patent pending) allows us to bring something unique to the table.
TNJ.com: What is your best advice on branding?
Lynnwood Bibbens: Be authentic and the “branding” will happen! Also, be careful on who you align your brand with – this is important because partnerships with people and companies should be built with a long-term outlook in mind, meaning you must really understand their principles and objectives to ensure you’re properly aligned. In an age where social media is everything, we don’t care about a person’s followers as much as their character. For example, we co-produced a show with Dwayne Frampton called “Framp Camp”, because we saw how much he cared for the kids he trained, his community and his family, and that perfectly aligns with our core beliefs at ReachTV.
TNJ.com: Any short to long term goals for Reach TV?
Lynwood Bibbens: We plan on expanding into the UK in the 3rd or 4th quarter. We’re going to announce some amazing series that will launch on our network. The end goal is for ReachTV to own the travel media space and be a must have for viewers on the go around the world. We currently have 27M monthly viewers and we want to double that in the next 12 months!