Former BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg launches Cheddar, a CNBC for millennials, with $3 million in funding
View all Offers
OnePlus Nord 2 5G (Gray Sierra, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) I Extra upto Rs.1000 off on Exchange₹ 29999Buy On
- 19% OFF
Redmi Note 10 (Aqua Green, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) -Amoled Dot Display | 48MP Sony Sensor IMX582 | Snapdragon 678 Processor₹ 12999₹ 15999Buy On
OnePlus Nord 2 5G (Blue Haze, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) I Extra upto Rs.1000 off on Exchange₹ 29999Buy On
- 18% OFF
Redmi 9 (Carbon Black, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) | 2.3GHz Mediatek Helio G35 Octa core Processor₹ 8999₹ 10999Buy On
- 18% OFF
Redmi 9A (Nature Green, 2GB RAM, 32GB Storage) | 2GHz Octa-core Helio G25 Processor | 5000 mAh Battery₹ 6999₹ 8499Buy On
The live shows will focus on tech and consumer stocks such as Google, Facebook and Chipotle - just like CNBC does, where Steinberg is a frequent contributor. That's what the younger generation says it wants more of, according to a survey of 18-34 year-olds gathered by Steinberg.
The startup won't focus on traditional pre- and post-roll advertising dollars either, because as Steinberg points out, consumers don't like video interruptions. Instead, Cheddar wants its main source of revenue to be distribution deals with streaming services like Netflix and Comcast's Watchable. If Steinberg can secure those deals, they'll enable Cheddar to reach televisions through streaming boxes like Rokus and Apple TVs.So far, Steinberg has yet to firm up those deals and there is no specific launch date (an early look at the live daily show will be ready for potential distributors in May, he estimates). But it's still early for Cheddar. The company is only a few weeks old at this point."We're making a big bet on connected televisions," Steinberg explains. "And I don't think the Apple TV market is as big as the phone market or the desktop market. But nobody is doing programming right now for people without cable boxes that have TVs on their walls, in offices, and have Rokus, Apple TVs and Chromecast connected to them ... I take the belief that no one coming out of college is going to get a cable box."
"I never wanted to do something small again"
While Steinberg is all-in on Cheddar now, he didn't always think he'd be running a startup.
The former venture capitalist joined Buzzfeed when it had just 15 employees as its president. And although he helped its annual revenue grow from $0 to $60 million during his four years there, he found the experience exhausting."You could ask ten people who talked to me when I was at Buzzfeed and they'd say, 'Jon wants to go run a big media company,'" Steinberg says. "But that changed in the course of a year."
In July, Steinberg stepped down as CEO of Daily Mail US after just 18 months. He joined the company after serving as BuzzFeed's president for four years and left in May 2014 after Disney made a compelling offer to buy the startup for a "substantive" amount. CEO Jonah Peretti walked away in the 11th hour. Steinberg swore he'd never join another small business.
"I actually thought when I left BuzzFeed that I never wanted to do something small again," Steinberg said about his decision to join The Daily Mail. "I so enjoyed being a part of a larger ship. When Buzzfeed was small it was so hard...I thought after Buzzfeed, I wanted to run something like Viacom."But while at Daily Mail, Steinberg says he found himself craving startup culture again.
"I started to think to myself, 'What if I could do everything little again? What if I could make a decision and in ten minutes, just go do it, and not have a big boat and just be able to have that level of tactile to it?'"So the decision to leave Daily Mail, Steinberg says, was both necessary and amicable, with revenue up 50% year over year under his watch.
Steinberg likens his departure to a Silicon Valley way of thinking, where people like Sheryl Sandberg leave Google for Facebook and it's applauded rather than criticized.
Streaming TV-quality video is expensive, but Steinberg and Gorenstein have figured out a way to cut costs. They're working with Corey Behnke's Live X, a cloud-based video shooting and editing technology that can be done on a computer, to make near 4K clips with a one-time equipment cost of less than $200,000. Gorenstein says that's 10% the cost of a traditional control room. Steinberg describes Cheddar's set up as being Google Docs rather than an entire Microsoft Exchange server. Cheddar
A lot of people have tried to make talking heads and live-streamed business news work online. But few people have been able to keep users interested, especially when they don't feel like reaching for headphones at their computers. But Steinberg is convinced millennials will stream business news, as long as it fits into their cord-cutting lives."The thesis is that the way to go after CNN, or MSNBC or traditional cable news is to start with business news because, increasingly, business news is culture." Steinberg says. "It's how we live our lives, and it's how we're changing our view of the world."
NOW WATCH: This bottle makes water out of air
- Fino Payments Bank files papers for ₹1,300 crore IPO
- OfBusiness, a platform that helps SMEs get raw materials, becomes the newest unicorn from India
- Tokyo Olympics: India's P V Sindhu loses to world number one Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the semis
- Droom founder explains why he is considering a US IPO and where he intends to spend the money
- 21 new COVID-19 cases reported at Tokyo Olympics, no athletes among them