Virginia Juliano is the Founder & CEO of CobbleCord, a free website and app that helps people cobble together personalized bundles of online streaming services so they can get the most out of streaming and get rid of cable. She aims to transform how people manage their entertainment by facilitating the discovery of the growing number of streaming services available and helping people keep track of the ever-shifting list of networks, shows, devices, and genres that each service supports. She is a thought-leader and independent expert on the streaming space, a vocal proponent of customer empowerment in entertainment, and a frequent speaker and panelist on the evolving intersection between media and technology.
Learn more about personalizing your own streaming bundle here.
1. You left your job with Showtime Networks to begin your own media startup. Can you walk us through that decision?
When I led the marketing launch of Showtime’s OTT (Over the Top) streaming service, it was becoming more and more difficult for us to keep track of all the other streaming services and their ever-changing list of offerings and attributes. With a lot more launches on the horizon, I realized that if it was confusing for those of us in the industry, the average person was definitely going to need help figuring it all out. That’s when the idea for CobbleCord was born, and it kept nagging at me until I couldn’t ignore it any more.
I thought that if I could come at it from the customer perspective and distill the process down to a few simple questions it would help people discover all the amazing streaming choices available to them. Plus, give them the tools and the confidence to cut the cable cord if that’s what they wanted to do.
Most of all I wanted it to be a fun and unintimidating experience. I’m very proud of the fact that even though our patented recommendation process has proprietary algorithms and a sophisticated database working behind the scenes, it’s a very simple flow for users to go through. I think that having a marketing mindset as well as a technology background helped to bring those elements together.
2. What is it that makes CobbleCord unique in the streaming landscape?
CobbleCord helps people cobble together their own personalized streaming bundles to get the most out of streaming and get rid of cable. The user answers a few simple questions about their content, device, internet and price preferences and we present them with a custom list of free and paid streaming services tailored to their needs. The recommendation process is totally free, so they can go through it as many times as they want and switch up their selections to see what other choices come up.
CobbleCord also serves as a central repository of streaming information. We provide an overview of each streaming service with details on content, price, device support, special features and more. We also have a robust search feature that allows you to filter by networks, shows, supported devices, genres, categories, etc., so you can find streaming services that meet your specific priorities.
People have hated traditional Pay TV bundles for so long because they were forced to pay for channels they didn’t want and didn’t watch, and they had no other choice. Now folks have a bit of the opposite problem — too much choice. There are over 200 services in our database, and we are making additions and updates all the time. But I think choice is a great thing for consumers and at its core, CobbleCord is about empowering and enabling them to take full advantage of that newfound choice using smart technology within a user-friendly design.
3. Looking toward the future, what is the next step for CobbleCord?
Our current aim is to help people figure out the best personalized streaming service combination for them based on their personal preferences, and our longer-term vision is to evolve that into a comprehensive subscription management solution and streaming hub.
In the world of streaming, there are no long-term contracts or equipment, so people can subscribe or unsubscribe at will to suit their personal needs and life schedule. We want to facilitate that for people by providing a cross-platform one-stop-shop where they can easily manage all their streaming needs in one convenient location, coupled with customer-friendly filtering, search and budgeting tools.
Our overall goal is to help consumers maximize their streaming mix and fully embrace the newfound ‘cord choice’ they now have available to them — even if they may not be fully aware of it yet. Ultimately, we want to transform how they manage their entertainment portfolio on an ongoing basis, saving them time and money.