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Exclusive Interview With Chris Hansen Co-Founder and CEO of BAMM.TV

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BaMM.TV creates high-definition videos of live performances and documentaries from emerging bands. BaMM.TV then globalizes the content through their distribution network of device manufacturers, telephone companies, cable companies and through their own branded mobile app. Artists are not charged a fee for production, but the profits from the distribution of the content is split 50/50.

BAMM.TV was created by musicians and for musicians to “re-balance” the economics of the music industry. The San Francisco based start-up currently has worked with over 160 bands and has produced over 60 hours of HD content. Below is an interview I had with the companies co-Founder and CEO Chris Hansen about BAMM’s strategy and the future of mobile music videos.

How do you find the bands that you partner with?
We do a lot of curation and research – so we are constantly looking at music blogs, looking at music festivals and going to see live shows. We are always looking for bands who are on the verge of something big, and those that also have a great live performance because we only get one shot at it.

We are going between a balance of having a very diverse library, because we don’t want to be looked at as indie rock only. So we are ramping up on electronic, Hip-Hop, Folk, and other genres. Also going to SXSW was a great opportunity to work with bands we had our eyes on, but they are not necessarily in the ‘bay area.”

How do consumers find your content?
We distribute 20% of our content for free through YouTube, Facebook, and other social networks. The bulk of our library can be accessed through our web page with a login or through a handheld device. We have a partnership with Samsung where we are featured on the Galaxy tablets and smart phones. We also are distributed through Chungwha Telecom in Taiwan and some content we have are just exclusive to those two partners.

Do you plan on becoming a stand alone platform like YouTube or is your focus on creating and distributing the content?
We are focused on finding distribution partners so we can have a clear monetization strategy. What we hoping to do is work with more partners where we will be creating “custom content” exclusive to their subscribers, like we have done for Chungwha Telecom and Samsung. Our goal is to eventually receive a percentage of their monthly subscription fee, because this is the clearest way to generate more revenue to share with the bands.

How much is a video actually worth?
I think with music right now, the experience has to feel free to the consumer-even if they are paying for it with ad impressions are if it’s part of their monthly subscription. I don’t see a lot of people paying to download a single video “a la carte.” Not to say that it won’t happen, but we are focusing on more strategies that have advertisers involved or those that are subscription based.

What is the long-term incentive for BAMMTV helping these bands become big?
We get a global perpetual license to the content we create, so we are hoping these bands get really big so the content is more valuable. That way we can distribute and monetize the videos for as long as we want. The long-term vision is to create this critical mass of great content, where BAMMTV will eventually become a destination point and not just a distribution partner.

What’s going on with mobile video right now?

I actually just read that in 2011, mobile video advertising increased by $1.6 billion dollars in gross revenue since 2010. It’s a huge opportunity in mobile video with smart phone and tablets, and they are a lot of great apps available but non are video. I think with the new iPad coming out, video is really going to shine. There are wireless carriers all over the world that can’t access major label content because it’s so expensive license. So we are moving aggressively into that space.