Seeing the power of user generated content online, Anthony’s venture started as a cultural adventure and has now led him to create a platform for easily creating video content for mass consumers.
What’s your story?
Escaped UK for Australia to start my first entertainment company when I was 22. Went on to launch a JV publishing company with Universal Music and TV production companies in London and Asia. My passion is culture and I spent over 15 years exploring remote countries from Africa to Melanesia recording remote voices before they are lost. Released multiple albums in over 35 countries under the name Last Voices. National Geographic TV followed my travels resulting in the TV series ‘Last Voices from Heaven’ and called it ‘the most dangerous expedition in the history of music’. My latest adventure is Binumi, a cloud based video solution providing content, tools and publishing all in one place. The aim is to empower the next generation of cultural storytellers.
What excites you most about your industry?
Cloud based technology is incredible. It’s mind boggling to think just how many video stories our platform could enable. Observing the shift from innocuous video capture to actual user-generated narrative pieces is inspiring. The power of user-generated video content I believe will have a profound influence, and hopefully create a rebound in the ‘attributable’ value for culture in entertainment and advertising.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been doing business in Asia for over 25 years finding opportunities in entertainment by building relationships and localising products. Today, I continue to have teams in Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Although the changes have been dramatic, in my opinion the unique cultural differences between countries in Asia is as strong as ever. In Thailand consumption of digital products is huge and a big part of the reason why we continue to focus so much on localisation. We are very committed to the region and are indebted to the commitment and passion our partners and teams bring everyday.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Bangkok… It reminds me of the film Blade Runner… It has everything… Walk out of the door of our office and discover food carts, trains, motorbikes dodging cars with office girls sitting side saddle making calls, BMW’s next to Tuk Tuks, old rattling buses screeching down roads too small, a modern skytrain, every type of food in the world and of course the intense heat. It has its own unique business fabric and in most cases many will listen to new ideas. An emerging creative young workforce, and a high number of International business people who come through on holiday, so it is often surprising who you can meet. But best of all, on every street corner, Thais will be eating and always laughing and happy, providing the energy I need for the next day.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Anthony, never, never, never give up. When a Tiger is injured it will lick its wounds and fight again” – CP’s Soopakij Chearavanont
Who inspires you?
Michael Rockefeller’s trips to West Papua and his amazing Asmat art collections. It was surreal that I ended up working with his brother Mark in New York. Although Michael was never found after going missing in the jungle, his commitment to the art and pageantry of these remote cultures was legendary.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I love tea and I just learnt that all British tanks since 1945 were built with tea making equipment inside.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Just occasionally have easier and smaller ideas!
How do you unwind?
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Relaxing is overrated and I get bored. Sri Lanka surprised me with its mix of significant cultural sites and lazy beaches.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Wild Swans By Jung Chang and a reminder of what an extraordinary story China has become.
Shameless plug for your business:
Binumi makes video creation for consumers easy by combining nearly 3 million royalty free multimedia clips from over 50 countries with easy to use editing tools. Users can upload and mix in their own content, add voice-overs and text making video storytelling possible for everyone. Binumi allows you to share your finished videos with any social network and offers private and public video walls for you to create your own environments. Binumi started as an educational tool to allow a safe video environment for students and teachers. In early 2016 we will be releasing mobile apps and launching into consumer areas such as tourism and messaging. Binumi is currently used by students as young as five in over 10 countries from Japan to Australia.
How can people connect with you?
Twitter, Facebook and [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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