It may be trite to frame it in meteorological terms, but NBC’s “Today” weatherman Al Roker truly does know which way the wind is blowing when it comes to media trends. In the last year, he’s unleashed a storm of digital video initiatives, including live stream analytics tracking service RokerLabs and “The Lift,” a morning weather show for mobile devices produced in partnership with The Weather Channel.
Today, Roker takes it a step further his announcement of the formation of live stream network Roker Media, which will create shows and commerce opportunities with talent and brands in the lifestyle, food, music, sports and entertainment verticals on YouNow, Periscope, Facebook Live and YouTube.
Roker Media is a partnership between the “Today” co-cost and JRSportBrief founders JR Jackson and Charlie Stettler, Frederator Networks founder and CEO Fred Seibert and music impresario Lyor Cohen (Def Jam Recordings, Warner Music Group, 300 Entetainment).
“Sports and music is about to explode in live streaming,” said Jackson, who has over 1700 episodes and 77 million views on YouTube and a weekly podcast on CBS Sports, as well as a YouNow channel.“There’s a real need for brands to tap into social stars and production teams to make live streams come to life with entertaining content globally. We’ve assembled the right team to make this happen right now.”
Roker will be chairman of Roker Media, and Seibert will serve as a special advisor, active in both programming and talent development. In addition to Seibert and Cohen, financial backers of the venture include marketing executive and prolific angel investor Jamie Robinson.
Roker Media will expand on the work of RokerLabs, launched in July 2015, which has worked with entrepreneur and model Camila Alves on her Facebook Live show, foodie Skyler Bouchard on Periscope, and Evie Yannakidis, whose YouNow channel EvieWhy has racked up nearly two million live stream views in just two months.