Remembering Broadcast.com

It was 9 years ago we went public with what was then the biggest first day jump in stock price in IPO history….

If you didnt know broadcast.com, or dont remember it, we were serving audio and video live and on demand to more than 1mm unique users per day in 1999. I dont even remember how many audio and video files we served per day, without 100mb or 10min limits, encoded up to 700k.

We had full length audio books, full length CDs, full length movies, TV shows. You name it. And unlike today, we actually got licenses for them before they were on our site.

We had preroll commercials. We had inserted commercials. We even inserted video commercials into audio files and streams.

And user generated content ? Yep. Mostly corporate, since back then thats who could afford the tools to edit video. Companies or individuals could upload full videos with synchronized slideshows and we even allows hot spots in the videos. And of course we gave you realitime statistics of how many people were watching your video, and if you required registration, which we offered, you knew exactly who was watching. We had companies that had ongoing “shows”, like Breakfast with Dell and we have individuals who did their own thing and we hosted it.

Just think if we had put up a discussion forum and called ourself a Social Network. Its deja vu all over again.

If you want to take a trip down memory lane, here is our video , courtesy of bandwidth subsidy from Google Video (which i have no problem doing given how often our content is pirated on their websites and how much money we have to spend to policing their sites and sending and processsing the legal back and forth of takedown notices)UPDATE: I decided to go back and dig up our PPT from our IPO roadshow. This was what we presented to potential investors. It is from July of 1998 and gives some more details of who Broadcast.com was and how we saw our business and opportunity. Enjoy !

52 thoughts on “Remembering Broadcast.com

  1. Who remember Broad Cast chat 1 & 2 back in 1997 Those were fun times.

    Comment by Bigman Politics -

  2. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

    Comment by V8 Hot Laps -

  3. Lol Mark,

    Did you notice that Google wasnt one of the portals listed in your presentation? You had Yahoo and AOL.

    Crazy to think back that far that Google wasn\’t even a real player in the game called the internet

    Comment by jaike -

  4. You are so right, you were on the forefront of the Internet Video age. Happy Anniversary to you (and NOT to YouTube…)

    Speaking of cooler video sites, have you checked out iklipz.com? They\’re focused on independent films, but they work with the people to get their films up, as opposed to just taking them without permission like that Google-bought site we know.

    And they make their own shows, like this new one called That Indie Film Show which highlighted the new Landmark Theaters, a place I\’m sure you\’re aware of. Of all the video sites out there, I think this one reminds me most of broadcaster.com.

    The URL is http://www.iklipz.com. The URL to the show that highlights the Landmark Theaters is http://www.iklipz.com/MovieDetail.aspx?MovieID=e80cbdaa-10c5-42f8-8c6f-bbb7690e4115

    Comment by Gizmo -

  5. Nice job mark. The internet boom back then was just a tad bit ahead of itself.. it wasnt the products.. it was the consumer bandwidth that was the issue.. today.. im sure things like \”websense\” would hurt ya…
    but I lift my glass to all you guys (the classes of 98-2000)

    Mike

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  6. Mark,

    These pitch decks from the first boom are a historical gold mine. Thanks for sharing.

    If the audio from your slideshow is available, we would love to make a slidecast out of it! Let me know if you need help synching the slides to the audio, or if you need somewhere to host the audio.

    -Jon Boutelle
    co-founder, SlideShare

    Comment by Jonathan Boutelle -

  7. Mark- still being in the online video game, I find myself explaining many times to people that the success of broadcast.com was so much about the management\’s ability to negotiate the licensing, combined with a true technical advantage. The sports leagues, businesses and content owners never thought of trying to do it themselves. And of course, the strength of the salesforce🙂. Harvey

    Comment by Harvey Benedict -

  8. This is so far out. Mark and Todd were way ahead of the curve and I think it is funny because today a lot of the power point presentations you see are just reincarnations of what Mark and Todd were doing years ago!

    They continue to be ahead of the curve with their vertically integrated entertainment company which has all the capabilities of a major Hollywood studio without the overhead of having an actual studio lot, very smart.

    Keep pushing the envelope guys and thanks for sharing this with everyone. Great, great stuff.

    Comment by Mitchell -

  9. ah memories…

    now, THAT was fun.

    Comment by jason f. -

  10. Mark,
    We had a heck of a run back then, and it pains me to this day that it all ended. That said, I wouldn\’t have changed a single thing about those days. We created the new media. Our work pioneered the web as we know it today. Thanks for the opportunity to be involved in our own Apollo Program.
    Roger A Wilbanks (Audio/BCST/YHOO 97-01)

    Comment by Roger W -

  11. Mark: As a Celtics i have no real bias when it comes to the Mavs. You were righrt about have the NBA Finals stolen from you in 2005. If you were not right Stern would not have given you such a large fine. In early English common law there was the Tudor Principle: The greater the truth of the \”libel\” the greater the punishment. For example, if you said something that was true about the King, your punishment would be much greater, then if you made up a lie about him.

    Stern, understand the value of that principle in controlling his charges. Too bad you are one of the few who can afford to speak the truth.

    Richard Moran
    criminologists

    Comment by Richard Moran -

  12. The Video just shows what a huge operation Audionet and Broadcast were. You\’ve got to build something pretty good to sell it for what you did. People quickly forget the fight it takes to get it there…internet boom or not.

    Comment by Eddie -

  13. Hey Mark.

    Guys have you seen http://www.Joost.com??

    What about http://www.youtube.com/streams_main…its a real community…realtime.

    oh Yeah Mark \”Spea\” is really better!!!!haha

    Goin\’ nuts in Mcnut. Its a Disco at Brisco or whatever I\’ll see ya at the Varsity Villas!!!

    The good ole days…Makes me want to get over to opie taylors.

    Josh
    Btown rocks

    Comment by Joshua Fisher -

  14. This is about the news of the day, not BC.com, so I know I am off topic but….

    Will this impact your decision to sell the Mavs? Your track record suggests that you usually sell near the top. See most recent post about bc.com. Is this too big to speak out about? I applaud you for taking on the fight against crap NBA refs, and I thought that the playoffs this year were a huge improvement over 2006. You do not need to say it, but the internet is being filled with posts as I type with people who know the 2006 playoffs were given to the Heat. Amazing how marginal Wade looked in the international tournament 1 month later. No NBA refs

    Comment by Chris Price -

  15. I remember …. that you made a lot of people happy – with fatter wallets.

    Comment by Kevin -

  16. Hey Mark…you STILL da man!
    I know this is off topic…but they just found that there was a crooked ref in the NBA helping to fix games.
    You don\’t suppose he helped officiate the Heat/Mav series do you??
    I always thought that was the WORST officiating in the history of pro sports.

    Comment by Glenn Condrey -

  17. YouTube must make you sick.

    Turns out you were right about broadcast.com and right about refs fixing games.

    Comment by Jeremy -

  18. Mark, any comment on the point-shaving news for the NBA today?

    For a long time, you have been a lone voice among NFL owners justifiably criticizing NBA officiating. I think Commissioner Stern\’s policies of fining all complainers and stifling all dissent (rather than taking a good hard look at this issue) is what has brought us to this today.

    Comment by Anthony Canale -

  19. You had some pretty rockin\’ hair there at the end, Mark.

    Comment by Nick -

  20. MARK, I am dying to hear your reaction on the recent FBI investigation on the NBA referee gambling on basketball games and possibly altering the outcomes. Sorry for not being relevant to this blog, Happy anniversary!!

    Comment by Joel Guzman -

  21. Hey Mark,

    The NBA is fixed and the feds have proof…when are we gunna hear you say \”told you so\”???

    Comment by Matt -

  22. One lucky bastard…hahaha. smart + action + (\”luck\”) = rich! No… there\’s no such thing as luck… it\’s all \’hardwork\’. Cheers for the happy years from the MARKsman. U the Man Cuban! Go Mavs, I\’m waiting championship baby!

    Comment by MARKsmanship -

  23. I hope the sale of the Cubs goes well,just wondering when Pops is going to be the center the Mavs need? His athletic ability will reap big rewards down the road and hopefully bring the Championship home to Dallas!

    Comment by Bryan Mathis -

  24. Didn\’t you host the 1999(?) Victoria Secret Fashion show too? I somehow remember it being hosted online (thought it was your website) and it got more hits in 1 hour than any other website…man!!!

    Comment by Scott Burnell -

  25. You had the right idea, albiet a few years too early. You cashed out in an extremely profitable way, and now you\’re in the sweet seat picking and choosing your next investments. All fantastic!

    BUT — when was the last time you sat down with someone who challenged you, and gave you the rush that you know means the \”Next Big Thing??\”

    Mark, you sold to fools, but you are still investing in little things. When are you going to put your exceptional money next to your exceptional mouth???

    -kevin
    http://www.kevinglennon.com

    Comment by Kevin Glennon -

  26. That\’s awesome Mark! Hope you get the Cubs…. \”The Gravedigger\” would be making a great call by selling to you.

    Comment by Brad Newman -

  27. LOL! Love it that even a smart businessman like you can miss the boat on something big. Sure you made more than a pocketful of change on the deal, but had the timing been different, and with a couple more components we all could be heading to broadcast.com not youtube!

    I\’m sure you are doing just fine anyways! I\’m just glad that I\’m not the only one that misses out on big time deals. For me it was when a friend told me about a chance to buy shares in a stupid board game. \”Who the hell would want to play a game of trivia?\” was my response. Yea, I think I own several editions of Trivial Pursuit! LOL!

    http://IMHockeyNutz.blogspot.com

    Comment by HockeyNutz -

  28. That seemed like so long ago, yet somehow only yesterday. Wow things move fast. That was also back when I didn\’t really know how to make a Power Point presentation… but I didn\’t want to tell Mark that.

    -DM

    Comment by DM Burrows -

  29. Thanks for sharing/revisiting the history of broadcast.com. Talk about being WAY ahead of the curve…even today most of my friends are amazed that I have a webcam. Happy Anniversary!

    Comment by Terry McCahill -

  30. The power of innovation and the best of it is that it can only get better.

    Comment by Christos -

  31. broadcast.com was an amazing idea, I remember the first time I leanred about streaming, the concept of playing an audio track bit by instead of waiting for it to download blew me away.
    to rob of post 21. It doesn\’t remind me of Enron because these guys had the ideas to back it up.

    Comment by ben -

  32. Is anyone else reminded of Enron commercial videos, when watching this?

    Comment by Rob Sandie -

  33. Mark – congratulations on your past and present successes! You were way ahead of the game with broadcast.com, and you\’re way ahead of the game as an NBA team owner. Seeing some of these other company owner\’s seeking your advice brought an interesting question to my mind: which would be more enjoyable for you – stepping into the company worth $230 million or stepping into a company worth $0 starting fresh (assuming that both ventures were of interest to you)? Just curious.

    Comment by Jared Bieberich -

  34. I miss being able to listen to the Redsox games for free on broadcast.com – damn you MLB for trying to nickel and dime us.

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  35. Who would have imagined that the vision of broadcast and geocities (user gen) would one day rock the world? Oh yeah we both did. Too bad the y! boys spent more time reading their own press than building on the properties they paid $10B for. I still think i have the geocities roadshow pitch somewhere.

    Steve Hansen
    COO GeoCities.. retired

    Comment by Stephen Hansen -

  36. Hey Mark,
    Congrats! I remember back in the day when Broadcast.com was just coming online, I was 18 or 19 back then, and I could see the potential for online video, though it seemed nobody else could.
    It is unfortunate that your site did not blow up ala YouTube and start the online video revolution, because you had the plan and you had the advertising model (Which it looks like they are going to go back to!). I admire what you have done professionally in the industry, you are one of those people that I would just love to sit down with and chat over coffee!! Keep up the great work!

    Kray

    Comment by Kray -

  37. Contgratulations, Mark.

    It\’s funny how many of us have worked on online projects and have had visionary ideas that were ahead of their time and someone else always gets the credit.🙂

    Comment by yellowbot -

  38. Great stuff! I spent a lot of time down there and took the guys to far more then one good Mexican Meal on the corner. To bad Yahoo did not have a clue how to really use what they bought!

    Broadcast was great and the team that built it were a bunch of great folks as well.

    Comment by Jack Spirko -

  39. Mark, I know you\’re saying YouTube who? You guys were way ahead of the ballgame with Broadcast.com. Thanks for sharing the video beacause all these years I\’ve wondered what Broadcast.com was really all about. Now I know. Congrats on all your success.

    Comment by Mark Williamson -

  40. In looking at the slide show, it looks like the idea was to have the computer be at the center of the home entertainment experience (audio and video feeds, etc). In some of your somewhat recent posts, I got the impression that you were making the case that TVs should be the new center of the entertainment experience– basically doing everything broadcast.com was doing but with a nicer screen. Am I right in thinking that you still have the same basic vision (a single entertainment portal), only now you think the platform should be the TV, or is there some other difference between the two visions that I\’m missing?

    Comment by Sam Cohen -

  41. That 56K maximum download speed really made things difficult on those days. Yahoo was big enough to push high-speed internet back then and really could have had a monopoly. What they decided to do is just astonishing. Good thing they hired an old fart like Terry Semel to run things afterward…

    Comment by creatine -

  42. Mark,

    I actually have the original Audionet.com presentation still. It is amazing how good of a read it is even today.

    What amazes me is how Yahoo had MySpace (GeoCities) and YouTube (Broadcast.com) well before their time and just flushed them away. Now they are spending more money trying to basically buy back what they once owned.

    Comment by Robert Davidman -

  43. Don Dodge: follow the billionaires…I think Apple/Steve Jobs is the thing that most closely replaced broadcast, even though its via downloads not streaming. The wide availability of podcasts is progress over where we were 8 or 9 years ago. I can download complete shows, in their entirity, commercial free…for free!

    Some things are no longer free, but directly offered at reasonable prices (audio for every MLB game offered directly via MLB for example). Things seem to have progressed for the better, but I still can\’t buy episodes of Entourage from HBO via the Internet…yet.

    Comment by Robert Seidman -

  44. Congratulatons, Mark!! The promise of Broadcast.com looked huge back in 1999. Why couldn\’t Yahoo capitalize on it? Why didn\’t another company come in and fill he void?

    Isn\’t there a market for sports re-broadcast over the Internet? Don\’t companies want to put their sharholder meetings and earings calls on the Internet? Or, did technolgy just advance so quickly that sports teams and companies can do all of this themelves from their own web sites?

    YouTube is not really a competitort Broadcast.com… but who is? Did any company fll he void? BrightCove is looking to make an alternatve market for professional video. Are the the moden day Broadcast.com?

    Don Dodge

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  45. All that, and Yahoo turned it into the most expensive 301 redirect in the history of the web.

    It sucks when you have to keep reminding people of your own history, but you don\’t, no body will.

    On the other hand, maybe Mark still has an itch that needs scratching? Broadcast.com part 2? The comeback? As bad as Yahoo\’s cash flow is right now, they\’d probably sell the domain back to you for a song.

    Comment by Brett Tabke -

  46. 249%? Very nice.

    Comment by Tyler Wilson -

  47. love the porn music when someone nobody is talking, great touch.

    mark, you got out while the getting was good and i commend you for that. you were clearly on the vanguard but you were likely a few (several) years early. if yahoo hadn\’t bailed you out, i wonder if you guys could have held on long enough to bridge the gap into the broadband era. the 14.4k archives really brought that part home.

    you\’re still my favorite owner and as sox fan, please dont buy the cubs.

    Comment by Omar -

  48. M,
    I a trying to take a company I own public. How were you able to raise funds that built your infrastructure, prior to going public? Our company is only worth $230 million according to brokers but like broadcast.com, we will be our only national competitor. It may not be much but to a kid who grew up in a shack out in the county hills of Montana, its not too bad! I will give you 30% if you help me!! All I ask for is a few minutes of your time.

    Jerry R. Reynolds

    Comment by Jerry R. Reynolds -

  49. Wow…that is old school now! Love the Bloomington reference, amazing how many of us are out there. We have three IU grads at http://www.livebooks.com and it is great to be around so many smart people🙂

    Congrats on everything Mark!

    Comment by J Sandifer -

  50. Mark: What was it like seeing the stock jump? How long did it take to sink in?

    Comment by Phil Nelson -

  51. Mr. Cuban,

    Happy 8 year anniversary since broadcast.com went public!

    Cory

    Comment by Cory -

  52. I remember the good old days working @ 2929 Elm St… and eating Mexican food at lunch @ the corner restaurant and occasionally hanging out on the roof w/ the sat. dishes.

    Rob

    Comment by Rob Sherrard -

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