As a former TV correspondent for MSNBC and CNN, I conducted hundreds of on-camera interviews with business executives, but my first interview for online video came seven years ago in the fall of 2007, when I spoke with Rob Kalin, the then 27-year-old founder of little-known craft marketplace Etsy Inc., about his venture capital backers, including Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.
At the time, using online video in financial reporting was considered revolutionary. Much has changed since then. Today, Etsy moves $1.35 billion worth of merchandise annually, and video has become a welcome way to illuminate the middle market.
Over the last few years, we've made video a priority at Mergers & Acquisitions, leveraging the skills of SourceMedia's video production team, led by Jonathan Carrera and WenWyst Jeanmary.
A virtue of video is that it allows the audience to come face-to-face with our sources. At the ACG Los Angeles 2014 Business Conference at the Beverly Hilton in September, assistant managing editor Anthony Noto got "up close and personal" with a range of influential M&A practitioners, including: Christina Carroll of Stout Risius Ross Inc., Michelle Chao of Bertram Capital Management LLC, Michael Dinan of Dinan & Co., Jeri Harman of Avante Mezzanine Partners and Larry Simon of Clearview Capital LLC. You can view the conversations on our video site at http://www.themiddlemarket.com/video.
I'm a big believer in keeping videos short and sweet, and the research on viewer habits backs me up. Our videos are typically about two and a half minutes. And, rather than "infomercials" highlighting companies, our video conversations focus on the most important trends driving middle-market deal flow.
Mergers & Acquisitions videos are aimed at our audience of sophisticated, experienced dealmakers. But for folks new to the middle market, I recommend The Private Equity Growth Capital Council's recently released Private Equity Minute, a six-part video series featuring Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business professor Colin Blaydon. The series offers a great primer on the private equity model, explaining the nuances of the relationship between limited partners and general partners in layperson's terms and defining industry jargon, such as carried interest.
This fall, editorial team shot on-camera interviews with high-profile dealmakers at several industry conferences. In October, Noto at M&A East covered the Philadelphia Convention Center, and reporter Allison Collins covered the 15th Annual Midwest ACG Capital Connection at McCormick Place in Chicago. Look for us at conferences: We're easy to spot with a camera crew, lights and a "step-and-repeat" sign, featuring our video sponsor, RR Donnelley.