Today we’d like to introduce you to Seth Schachner.
Seth, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I launched Strat Americas after a great eleven year run in the music industry, at Sony Music, where I led Sony’s Latin American Digital business in Miami. The idea is to bring a business development and strategic consultancy to the market and to help clients with partnerships–a strategic bridge to the Americas. I’ve had a great experience helping a diverse group of clients so far, from music and video to virtual reality — and even enterprise software.
LA has played a great role in keeping the business vibrant. So great, in fact, that I decided to move here, after thirteen years in Miami.
Just as background I’m an individual who has built a career in the media industry, in partnerships and strategy. I got my start modeling movie deals for Fox in LA and jumped at a great opportunity to join AOL in its early days. I built their first music channel, in DC. Throughout the career, I’ve tried to listen to my instincts, to gravitate towards emerging businesses I can help grow… I think LA’s media and digital ecosystem is a great one, and I’m very happy to be back.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not a smooth road. While Strat Americas has been successful and a great window into different industry verticals, it’s definitely been a challenge building a pipeline of clients nationally, I’ve built the business with a group of partners–we’re constantly networking, taking meetings, and traveling to seek out clients who need our help.
And looking back, my tenure at Sony Music came during one of the most disruptive, challenging periods in the music industry’s history–when it was being challenged by piracy and the many digital services we had launched hadn’t really caught the mainstream’s attention. It was totally unlike today’s streaming environment, where Spotify and its competitors are strong contributors to the industry.
Finally, anyone spending time in the media and tech industry–and have more than a few years working in it–is bound to encounter their share of organizational change. This was definitely a big challenge for me, as Sony merged several times during my run there.
Strat Americas – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Strat Americas is a business development and strategy enterprise. We give strategic guidance and help connect and negotiate revenue and audience-building partnerships for our clients. We have offices in LA and in Miami, too.
We’re known for a deep network in areas like music, video, and virtual reality, as well as strong experience negotiating content partnerships. While we work both in the US and globally, the Latin American relationships and expertise set us apart from others in the market.
I’m most proud of my work for Smule, a large social music community, as we’ve helped drive many partnerships with some of Latin music’s biggest artists. I’m also proud of recent experience helping drive partnerships for clients in the new virtual reality ecosystem.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Personally, I see it as breaking some new ground, making an impact, and meeting in the middle. I’m a natural networker, and so building relationships has helped me a lot over the years. (I’m still in touch with people I’ve worked with over twenty years ago in LA, and that, to me, is very positive, a measure of success).
Professionally, success can be defined in different ways, and with different criteria, but it’s not so different than the above personal description. Closing a deal, quantifying sales or profitability growth are classic, but helping a company grow by establishing a relationship in Argentina, Brazil, or Mexico can be very key to success and keeping clients happy.