Director of Linear Programming, Matt Koenig Shares Some of His Experience and Industry Knowledge from Working with Jukin’s CTV/OTT Networks

By Jukin Media on October 08, 2020

This week, we got together with one of the original pioneers that allowed Jukin Media to pivot from a content acquisition company to the parent company of multiple successful media channels. Director of Linear Programming, Matt Koenig, dives into his early days at Jukin and reflects on how he’s contributed to the company's growth and expansion into the OTT/OTA space.

You’ve been part of the Jukin family for nearly 2 years! Can you tell us a little bit about how this journey has been and how you ended up here?

It’s been busy!

 

I had a traditional television background, spending the previous eight years in programming and promotional strategy at FOX. I was working for the National Geographic Channels, and at Crown Media, I worked for the Hallmark Channels. In 2018, I was looking for an opportunity to take more of a leadership role and really take ownership of a channel, or in this case, many channels. At the time, the OTT/streaming market was really starting to boom & Jukin was looking to start their own department dedicated to linear channels. I was brought on as employee #2 of the linear team to help guide the process and strategy of taking Jukin's huge library of UGC and turning it into 24/7 TV channels. Two years later, here we are with an award-winning team of 12+ dedicated to 5 OTT/OTA channels that are growing exponentially and setting revenue and viewing records on a weekly basis.
 

If your grandparents asked you what you do for work at Jukin Media, what would you tell them? (Please, spare no details).
 

I have to say, it's much tougher than when I worked at Hallmark. But at least I don't get calls from my grandma on a weekly basis anymore asking me to change the schedule because Perry Mason is airing too early for her in the morning.

 

I think the simplest way I put it to them (still doesn't help) is: "I make TV channels out of viral videos."

 

A lot has happened over the last two years. Could you share something you’ve learned about yourself during this time?
 

I've learned to not be afraid to share my opinions. In my past work experiences, I'm not sure if I was being shy, intimidated, or afraid of looking dumb, but I kinda lived by the quote, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." I'm glad I got out of that mindset. It has helped my personal and professional growth.
 

Jukin is a fun place to work, what are some of your favorite memories?

 

Jukin knows how to throw a party. I've really enjoyed the holiday parties, especially. Great seeing everyone out of work mode and having fun together.

 

What is Linear Programming? What are some of the common situations you deal with on a day to day basis?
 

To me, linear programming is all the work and strategy that goes into optimally curating 24/7 real-time tv channels for a specific target demo, whether it be acquiring content, scheduling, analytics, etc. Everything that makes a channel operate successfully.
 

In the world of streaming linear programming, it seems like we're commonly in uncommon situations as everyone is trying to figure out this industry as it grows so quickly, but there are some questions you're constantly asking yourself in linear programming:
 

  • How do we make our content stand out from our competitors?
  • How can we drive viewership to our channel?
  • What's making viewers watch longer?
  • What's making viewers change the channel?
  • How can we improve the viewer experience?
  • How can we appeal more to advertisers?

These are all questions I'm asking myself every day.

 

What advice would you give to the up-and-coming professionals looking to work with media?

 

This goes for any line of work really, but as I said above, don't be afraid to speak your mind and share your ideas.