GoPro is slowly solidifying its reputation as a media company.
The San Mateo, Calif. company announced that it had hired former Guggenheim Digital Media executive Zander Lurie to head its media division. Lurie, who marked his first day on the job on Tuesday, will be the company’s new senior vice president of media, and will report to GoPro president and former Skype CEO Tony Bates, who was hired in June.
“This company has grown its business significantly on its own and through distribution across YouTube and Facebook,” Lurie said in an interview. “I’m being brought on to continue that and to figure out, ultimately, a monetization strategy.”
Lurie’s appointment is perhaps the strongest signal by GoPro that it is ready to diversify a business that’s still heavily reliant on the sale of devices like the recently released Hero 4 camera. Though the company recently announced higher-than-expected revenue during its third quarter earnings call, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman and other executives have made no secret of their plans to monetize the largely untapped financial potential of content shot by users that is then shared widely across social networks.
“When we think about media strategy first and foremost, we continue to be very pleased with the overall strategy which is to drive great content,” said Bates in the company’s most recent earnings call with analysts. “We will continue to experiment with different forms of monetization. We want to make sure that we do this in a very careful way that continues to create a great experience for the way that people consume our content and share it.”
Lurie did not go into specifics on how he would help the camera maker drive revenue streams from its diverse video content, and only said that GoPro “has a list of available business models” that it could explore. He also said that he had been in conversations with Woodman and Bates for months before taking the new gig.
Prior to GoPro, Lurie spent a year at Guggenheim Digital Media, a media investment arm of the $210 billion (assets under management), global investment fund Guggenheim Partners. At Guggenheim, he was tasked with acquiring online video site Hulu, but was unable to close a deal with owners Comcast, Disney and 21st Century Fox. Before that, he spent time at CBS and served as CFO of CNET.
GoPro’s shares ended trading on Tuesday at $82.27, up more than 240% from its June initial public offering price. Last week, the company held its third quarter earnings calls where it announced sales of $280 million, up 46% from the same period a year ago.
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