Rob Campanell

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Early Career

Rob Campanell started his media career as a television producer in the early 90s. “Cyberia” was a computer animation and electronic music video clip show distributed on U Network[1], a national network of college television stations based at Brown University. The show incorporated early virtual reality technology called Mandala software[2]which was developed by Vincent John Vincent[3] and Francis McDougal.

In 1994, he relocated to Austin, Texas to produce “Cyberia” at the University of Texas. The UT student and community television station were to starting stream it’s channel over the internet using a video conference technology called CU-SeeMe[4] which was developed at Cornell University. The combination of VR and video streaming was an exciting vision for the future of media.

In 1995, he joined Jay Ashcraft who was running the website InterneTV.com. Rob started programming music video on demand using streaming video technology from VDO, Real Networks, and Vivo.

Original Streaming Series

In 1996, Rob started on production of “Austin”, the first original series produced for streaming video online[5]. The show was a serial drama about a group of young people living together in Austin, Texas. Love, lust, and slack was the series tagline. He produced two other original streaming series, “Bartenders”[6] was a series around the staff who worked at a floundering Austin alternative rock club, and “Chemical Generation” was the story of a young couple who caravaned around North America for raves and the substances to complement the experience.

Blastro

Rob co-founded Blastro in 1999 with three other co-founders. The company started doing live video streaming DJ mix shows five nights a week from the 501 Studios in Austin TX and programming music videos on demand. In 2001, the company concentrated its focus on music video programming and built the Blastro brand on urban music. The company got its first big distribution deal with Microsoft’s WindowsMedia.com. Blastro was the first independent online platform to get a music video streaming licence with Universal Music Group in 2006[7].

Over the years, the company launched three more consumer-focused music brands, Roxwel (rock, metal, indie), Yallwire (country, inspirational Christian), Blastro2 (latin). These were distributed across four digital platforms - web, mobile, OTT, and out of home. The company developed distribution agreements for its original content with Verizon, NBC, Hulu, Amazon, Samsung, Roku, Clear Channel, and Dailymotion.

Blastro shut down music video operations in 2015. Two other companies were spunout of Blastro from the other co-founders. TourGigs, a concert film production company and Gigcasters, a live streaming engineering and software company.

Virtual Idols

In 2019, he joined the MediaTech Ventures program Collective to develop branded global creative studio focused on virtual idols for music and fashion.


References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Association_of_College_Broadcasters [1]
  2. Mandala software virtual environment [2]
  3. Vincent John Vincent[3]
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CU-SeeMe[4]
  5. Wired: MESQUITE-SCENTED SOAP STREAMS TO WEB[5]
  6. Austin Chronicle: Casting the Net[6]
  7. Blastro Announces Partnership Universal Music Group[7]

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