After 6 and A Half Years With Jukin, VP of International Licensing, David O’Hare Discusses How He Expanded Jukin Media’s Presence to Europe
By Jukin Media on November 06, 2020
As one of Jukin's first international employees, David O'Hare, VP of International Licensing, reflects on how he's grown the company's presence in the UK.
Can you tell us a little bit about how your journey with Jukin has been and how you ended up here?
My career started in media sales, then moved to working with content, mainly photography, for the news and entertainment industries. As publisher and entertainment needs changed and technology advanced, I saw video emerge as a fantastic visual storyteller in the media and began working with some of the world’s biggest content companies on their video strategies, especially in short form. I heard about Jukin and I liked what I saw, so after I left my previous role setting up a short form video department for a well known TV production company, I reached out to Jon and told him that I thought it was time for Jukin to have a presence in the UK and Europe. Luckily he agreed! Having been at Jukin for over 6 years now, I’ve seen the company grow and mature in many ways including the opening of our international offices, which as the first employee outside of North America, I’m really proud of!
If your grandparents asked you what you do for work at Jukin Media, what would you tell them? (Please, spare no details).
When anyone asks what I do, I ask them if they have a phone in their pocket. When they say they do, I ask them if they use their phone to record videos. When they confirm that they do, I ask them what they do with those videos? Most people say that they only share them with family and friends and that’s when I explain that if that video is funny, unique and marketable, I can manage their video commercially, make that video go viral and make them some money. Very often they immediately take out their phones and start scrolling through their libraries looking for videos to submit!
Could you share something you’ve learned about yourself during your time as a part of the company?
When I first started at Jukin, I was tasked with working independently and remotely, in a different time zone from the head office. I found that I really appreciated the autonomy and thrived in an environment that allowed me to own and manage the business. I try and inspire my team to work in the same way, while always knowing they have a strong resource base if they need it. It was great practise for 2020!
Jukin is a fun place to work, what are some of your favorite memories?
The yearly summits are always some of the most fun times at Jukin. It’s when the whole organisation gets together in the LA head office and it’s always a blast. I remember during summit week looking around the (very busy) LA office and seeing members of the UK team blending seamlessly into their various departments as if they had always been there - that was a good moment. Some other summit highlights include laser tag, IN’N’Out burger lunches and wine and cheese evenings followed by trips to the karaoke bar!
What are some of the common situations or misconceptions you deal with on a day to day basis?
One misconception we have all the time in licensing is that Jukin content is generic or ‘stock’ footage. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth - our content is unique and individual and very different from stock footage. We really do curate the best user generated content from the internet so our clients have a resource they can trust to license safely and easily. The other is that we do not have relationships with our clip owners once we acquire a clip - I’m always pleased to tell clients about our close relationships with the owners of the clips and that we pay each clip owner every time their clip has been used.
Brands and agencies have had to be innovative in the way they reach consumers this year. What is a new trend in media and advertising that you're excited about?
I think in advertising the idea of realism is so important and user generated content is perfectly placed to reflect that. That’s been the biggest shift in advertising in the last few years - there were attempts to replicate user generated content initially but the feeling of genuine emotion couldn’t be faked. Coming up, I think given the huge amount of content out there currently, brands and agencies will continue to look for genuinely unique footage of real situations. With some of the advances in editing and effects on our phones and computers as well as the growth of AR could open up a whole world of new footage to work with.
In the entertainment world, clip shows will always be an effective way of producing funny and cost effective programming. The challenge moving forward for production companies is using the content in new and innovative ways. We know people love to consume this content online, so when creating that ‘lean back’ experience and sharing it though television programming it’s important to get the creative right. There are also so many more ways to watch TV these days, user generated content can play a big part in opening up screens with really engaging and funny content.
What’s the best career advice you’ve given to coworkers or other up-and-coming professionals?
I think the best advice I can give is to know your product inside and out and be open to every opportunity, big or small. Don’t over promise, do over deliver and make sure people enjoy working with you, even in difficult situations, as that will come back to benefit you in the future.