Named one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs Award and Business Insider’s “Top 16 Power Player Execs in AD Video Streaming Space”, Damian Pelliccione leads the finance, business development and advertising sales / operations departments at Revry. Revry is now the world's largest Queer Network, reaching over 280 million households and devices. Revry was also featured on the cover of The Los Angeles Times Business section, named “App of the Day” by Apple app stores globally.
Laurel Mintz, founder and CEO of award-winning marketing agency Elevate My Brand, explores some of the most exciting new and growing brands in Los Angeles and the US at large. Each week, the Elevate Your Brand podcast features an entrepreneurial special guest to discuss the past, present and future of their brand.
You're listening to the Elevate Your Brand podcast, where we talk to some of the smartest entrepreneurs and fastest growing brands in the market, today. I'm your host, Laurel Mintz, a reformed corporate MAA attorney who founded award winning LA based marketing agency Elevate My Brand. We've elevated some of the world's biggest brands from Facebook, Paw Patrol and Verizon to innovative startups you haven't even heard of yet. Are you ready to elevate your brand? Keep listening.
Thanks for tuning in to Elevate Your Brand. Of course. I'm your host, Laurel Mintz, and I'm so excited to be joined today by Damian Pelliccione, who is the CEO and co founder of Revry. Damian, thank you for joining us today.
Oh, my gosh. Laurel, thank you so much for having me on your podcast. This is super cool.
Now, you and I have known each other for we're not even going to say how many years because we don't want to date ourselves, but a very, very long time. And I'm so glad that the universe found its wise energy to bring us back together.
I know it's funny, even just to make a compliment on that Girls in Tech, which I know you were executive director of for many years back in the day when we were all running around Hollywood and all these industry events was knowing what we were doing. Yeah, exactly. When it was still called new media. Now it's called digital. Right. But I remember that was the inspiration for my first YouTube channel, which still exists. But it's just old content called Boys in Tech
That makes me so happy. Yeah. You and I have known each other far too long, and I'm so excited about what you're doing now, though, tell our world, our community, what Revry is and what you're up to. Yeah. So Revry is now the world's largest LGBTQ global streaming platform. We are on every single device on demand, from iOS to Android, the web to any device that you stream or watch content with, like your Roku stick or Amazon Fire, and even all the connected TV manufacturers on their direct platforms like Samsung and TV plus or Video and Watch, free and LG and everyone. We actually syndicate now over 1500 hours of content to over 36 different destinations. And we are the world's largest fast, which stands for free, ad supported streaming Tvavodawondemand, LGBTQ TV network in the world.
That is so I mean, literally in the world. That is a huge statement. And I know that you are always pushing the brand forward and you're always fundraising and growing and elevating and all that. But do you take time to really sit back and think, this is the biggest platform, I feel the biggest platform of this community in the world. That's huge.
Yes. It's funny. It's like when you're in it, you're so in it. Totally. And probably this is probably a through line for every entrepreneur. Hard to see the forest for the trees. You know what I mean? In the sense where and I'm one of four equal co founders. I do have to shout out my cofounders, Alia J. Daniels, our CEO, Chris Rodriguez, our chief business officer, and LaShawn McGee, our chief product officer, which were four equal cofounders. And what makes us really unique is we represent and reflect a lot of different communities outside of just LGBTQ, African American, Hispanic, non binary, veteran, immigrant. We check a lot of boxes. But I think that the biggest thing for us, though, is we have to actually forcefully remind ourselves to take a minute to celebrate what we have built together because we're on 24/7 days a week as every entrepreneur is. And this is our passion, this is our dream. This is where our legacy, one of our biggest legacies, I think, will be on this world. And we get lots of reminders and moments with people, consumers, content creators that we work with and even vendors that stopped to say, Congrats on what you build. It's those moments that really mean a lot, and we try to stop and celebrate them when we can.
Well, I am celebrating you, and we are celebrating Pride Month, which is really exciting. So I hope that you will celebrate even more this month. And I'm really excited to have you on the show because it is Pride. It is if I celebrate all of the things that you do, this will be out actually in the month of June. So it's all going to be really great timing. Can you share you're talking about those moments of gratitude from vendors and people who watch your content and the content creators themselves. Can you share the story that you shared when we re engaged? Was it the content was in India, right? That story? Yeah. You have to share it with.
Absolutely. I love telling the story because this is one of those moments that you were kind of just talking about where we really got perspective on what we were creating. So I had the pleasure of being in Mumbai, India, in 2019. I was one of the keynote speakers at Keshish, the LGBTQ film festival there. And it was an opening night. I went for the whole festival because I've never been to India, and I wanted to experience everything that I could. And opening night was the big screening and reception and party, and they had all of the international speakers kind of come on stage and give a little plug, like, hey, come see me at 04:00 on Friday. For context, we had actually released in 2017, two years earlier, the firstever queer female Hindi drama series called The Other Love Story, which was shot in Bangalore. And we had acquired it. We just actually licensed it and ran it as original and took exclusive rights and put it out there. We had this influx of traffic from India, but it wasn't really until I was in Mumbai at Kashish. Cut to now turn back to 2019, where I really saw the impact of what we were doing. And after I gave my little plug on stage at opening night, I was at the reception, and I had this line up of queer female Indian filmmakers who wanted to talk to me or pitch me or just introduce themselves or say hello or even take a photo. And I was like, Why are you taking photo with me?
I'm just like, Damian is absolutely fabulous. So I understand why people would want to take a picture with you, but this is not the meat of the story.
But it was one of those things where it wasn't until the third or fourth woman who was like, hey, you don't know why all these women want to talk to you? And I'm like, no, I can't. Like, I just wasn't putting two and two together. And they're like, well, I want to show you something. And this girl pulls out her phone and turns on her Tinder, and I'm like, why are you showing me your date? Like, right at home basketball? And she's like, I just want to show you the impact. I want to show you something. And she filters for lesbian. And everything on that grid was an image from this project, The Other Love Story. And I started to cry. She's like, this is how we identify as queer women in India. And fear for losing their job or losing their home or their family is not accepting them because they don't have the same rights we do here. And for context, they adjust to criminalize being LGBTQ in India in 2018. So it was like a year later, and I started to cry in that moment. One of the greatest moments of my life, obviously, I tell this story a lot, but I realized that we were actually by creating Revry, starting to create real, lasting change for our community in parts of the world we've never seen, been to or experienced or had contact with. And when you can do that, you start to realize that what you're building is so much bigger than yourself, and that is bigger than any award, bigger than that's. Our legacy, that is what we get to bring to the world.
Representation does matter in media, and representation can save lives. And that is the impact that Revry is having on not just this community, but multitude of communities. And that's just one of many stories that we are blessed and lucky to hear. Her experience so incredible when you tell it on stage and all eyes are on you. My mascara was running down my face. You can't not engage with you personally. You have so much passion around this topic and around having that kind of impact. And then the stories that you pull out, and you're just such a natural storyteller. And I think that was very clear from when we first met. But tell us a little bit about how you got from poison tech days, new media vault to Revry.
Yeah, it's interesting. I have always been, I guess, an entrepreneur. I just didn't realize it, I think in an official capacity or title years ago. I always been a leader, never afraid to take risks. And it was almost like a natural evolution. I feel like life evolved. And my experience in this industry and entertainment and digital, those two worlds combining and kind of becoming what now is streaming is really what led me to be leading this company. My experience prior to new mediabot was focused in producing, and before that was acting, and before that was theater. My roommate at the time, a long time ago, she had won the first ever Emmy Award for best broadband drama. And that was a huge inspiration. Diona and A Colemaxer was a huge inspiration of mine. Always. She still is. She's a close friend. She married me and my husband actually now Chris Rodriguez, officer. That inspired me to want to start to create and start to focus my time and energy and digital and on the web. And it was just by power of doing and by not giving up and learning as much as we can and connecting with as many people as we can and building a foundation that I don't think I realized I was building even back then, which was new media. Bob. The only was at the time for nine years the only monthly new industry mixer for whether you're a content creator or in technology or development or engineering or any kind of world of digital to connect and have a drink at the W in Hollywood. Hell of a good time. Those were fun parties. Those were some fun times. I mean, it was always the last Thursday of every month. And it's really what's astounding to me is like a handful of those people are well, more than a handful of people. I would say like 100 of those people are still in my life today. But a handful of people now work for our company in some capacity. There's like a vendor, producer and even our CMO, Paul Cantones, we have known each other for as long as we have me and you, Laurel, and he works under me. He's our chief marketing officer. And it astounds me to see how much of this business is so relationship driven, it doesn't today. Now in the age that I'm at and the experience that I have and it's not even about who you know, but it's how they know you and how they remember you and what type of person you put out the energy and obviously how you treat others is extremely important and so valuable. Yeah. And I think that the lesson that I tell my staff is develop the relationship, not like the business transaction. The relationship will take us so much further than the transaction route. And I will always invest in the relationship first and not just look for an end game on a transaction.
I mean, that's kind of marketing one on one. And I think also one of the reasons you and I get along so very well, we're going to take a really quick break. We'll be right back. Today's episode is brought to you by Mexicraft Tequila Seltzer. It is a top shelf tequila seltzer made with craft tequila from Jalisco, Mexico, real juice and sparkling water. Each can contains a shot and a half of premium Blanco tequila, which you all know is my favorite and no more than 3 grams of sugar. For those of you watching that, you can get it in Whole Foods in Southern California or order it online at www.mexiseltzer.com, follow them on IG @mexiseltzer and use podcast20 for 20% off your first order.
Thanks for sticking with us. And if you're just tuning in, I am chatting with Damian Pelliccione. Did I say it right? Did I get it right? Yes. It looks like with the purse lift, hand grab. Yes, exactly. Italian hands. The Italian hands who is the CEO and co founder of Revry, which is the largest LGBTQIA plus stream platform in the world. I just think what you're doing is incredible. It's obviously why we invited you here. I think the most one of the most interesting parts is that on the marketing side is the marketing reach that you have in terms of your advertisers and this specific community. Can you share a little bit about those stats with us?
Yes, absolutely. I mean, Revry now has millions and millions of users. We have five extra users just in the last year. And what's really interesting is because we're free to consumer platform, meaning there's no barrier to entry. You can just download the app or turn on the channel and start watching. We're completely ad supported. And some of these advertisers were working with big brands like McDonald's, Diesel, Jeans, Lexus, just to name a few, have really started to invest more and more in marketing to our community, into our reach, which right now, if you aggregate kind of like the total reach of all the platforms and their reach. It's over 1.2 billion devices in households. And we see almost 20 million monthly active viewers who engage across all our platforms and networks and social on a monthly basis. And the reason why we say viewer, not user, is because we're agnostic. Even though we do have our own app, it's not just about our app. It's about putting our channel and our brand in as many different places as possible. And it's really exciting. Like this month, right now, we're really promoting two really big shows that were underwritten basically by McDonald's in a lot of ways. They're our title sponsor. One is House of Pride, which isn't at season two. Last year, we had a tremendous first season, and you can see it on our platforms. And I'm Super excited about it because as a whole new kind of look and feel and vibe and new cast of musicians, dancers, comedians, McDonald's goes all in with us for the whole month of June. You can see us in their Billboard. Mcdonald's Billboard in Times Square across from the Viacom Building. The third largest Billboard in Times Square. That's not an amazing. Aha, we fucking did it. I don't know what is right. Yeah. And last year I flew myself out to see it because they gave it to us last year, too, because I was like, this is crazy to see a brand like that we started on. And not just a Billboard. Like McDonald's Billboard.
Yes, the biggest brand of the planet. So since you brought up McDonald's, I have to ask a question about the Burger King ad. What do we think about it? Obviously, McDonald's is a huge Advertiser, no shade to them. But do we like or do we hate the Burger King ad? How you feel about it? As someone who is in the community in many different capacities, so very interesting.
Oh, my God. You're going to totally think I'm under a rock. I have not seen the Burger King ad. Yes, I feel bad. I know. I'm terrible. You know why? Because this was West Hollywood Pride last weekend. It's the first week of Pride, and we were.
Yeah, you've been no sound and your fundraising on top of it. So you're like, not for air. I get it. I can't comment on it yet. I'm sorry. It's a basic tea. Have you heard about it, though?
I feel like I'm under a rock. My burger is really known for this, right?
So they have an ad that has, first of all, in Burger King in the word. They changed it to the rainbow logo, but not an all inclusive rainbow. So that's a challenge, in my opinion. And then the other thing that they did was you can have it your way, meaning you can have two top buns or two bottom buns, which from a community perspective, doesn't make sense because two tops and two bottoms together. So that's a little problematic. But I thought it was actually a little clever. I wasn't as mad as so many people were, but I definitely think there were some challenges with it. But of course, they're known for good attempt Burger King.
Next time to come, maybe talk to everybody. My general note to brands who may be listening to this is you need to align with publishers, creators, agencies, distributors, TV networks, what have you who are authentically led and owned order managed by and I'll just speak to, like, McDonald's. What makes us really unique is McDonald's intentionally could have chose Revry where they could have chosen a million other different networks or publishers or platforms to do a Pride campaign with, because it's led by Alia, Lashon, Chris and myself. We are all members in some capacity, even though Alia is an ally. We still think allies I believe allies are part of queer culture. We don't exist without them. And accomplices. That's another big thing, too, that we're really trying to evangelize. But I think that my guess is that they were not being mentored correctly or led in the right direction. And I think that's where brands make mistakes.
Right. Trying to target our community, especially with people are upset about it, but other people are saying it's good that they're even trying to have the conversation. And I get both sides of it.
Absolutely. And look, again, I look at this as an opportunity to reach out to Burger King. Exactly why I brought it up. Why do you think that advertisers are finally waking up and recognizing the power of the queer community? Well, I mean, look, basic dollars and cents out of the 2020 census, one in six millennials identify as LGBTQ, 52% of Gen Z do not declare their gender and do not declare their sexual orientation, meaning they're somewhere on the spectrum, not necessarily lesbian, gay, and gender is a completely different conversation. But there is a culture, our culture of queer, which is emerging rapidly and especially among the younger demos, the demographics. And so you cannot deny it. But then let's layer in just why this is a good marketing business decision. In the United States alone, our community has a disposable income, a GDP of $1.1, $1.1 trillion. That is not a small market. That is a big market. And when your Revry and you command the largest amount of video advertising in the world for this market, it's undeniable.
Yeah. So powerful. I mean, everything that you do is just a powerhouse statement. I mean, the content itself is incredible. The content creators that you're supporting, giving them a platform is incredible. The fact that you have this share of market is I mean, it's unheard of. I'm so impressed with what you've built. Amen. And so grateful for you spending some time. Thank you. I love you. We're going to take another quick break. We'll be right back. Are you ready to elevate your brand but not quite ready to sign up with an agency? We're not mad about it. In fact, we think it's a really smart marketing move to make sure that you're ready before you spend those big marketing dollars. And since we're such a solutions oriented team, of course we came up with a solution for you. We created a nine course educational webinar series that will kickstart your marketing strategy. This series was made for startups and small businesses who want to implement strong branding and establish smart marketing strategies from social media to search and beyond. Sign up today, take our free course to test us out and elevate your brand in 2022. Thanks for sticking with us. Chatting with my friend Damian Pelliccione, who is the CEO and co founder of Revry. I just adore the shit out of you. I'm so proud of you and what you built. I want to know what we can do as allies or what was the other word that you were using? Accomplices. Accomplices. That's the first time I've heard that.
What does that mean in your mind? You are taking outside, just being an ally to the community. You take action. You know what I mean? Like, you are actually asserting action.
Yeah, an accomplice. All right, then I guess I'm an accomplice. What can we, as accomplices, do to support the evolution of this kind of content? A platform like yours? What do you need from our community?
Watch our content. It's so simple, right? And what's interesting is that we make content that is not just for our community. We have a lot of content that are for families, friends, allies, accomplices folks who just want to learn how to use pronouns correctly. You know what I mean? There's a great show that we have in our original collection called Them, and it's literally just simplifying in a very elementary way the use of pronouns and gender construct that is not made necessarily for our community. Even yesterday, I was at West Hollywood Pride. I was backstage, and one of the folks who work for the production company was putting on Pride. I was introduced to, like, she was working. This is my husband, and you guys have a drink, and here's a drink ticket. Like, I hang out and he's like, this bro, sweet dude. And he was super cool. Obviously, he has a trans male brother. And we were having this conversation. He's like, man, I was hanging out with my other bro friends, and they were just so toned off to the community. And he was asking, he's like, can you give me any words of advice on, like, in these moments when I'm watching sports with my girlfriends, how do I educate them in a way where it doesn't feel so aggressive or busy correct about something as simple as the use of pronouns? I'm like, Tell the story of your brother who's trans. You know what I mean? When we come from a place we always talk about, like, cancel calls. I'm sure you've had this conversation with a lot of folks on your podcast. That is the wrong mentality. This is, I think, one of the true dilemmas that a lot of brands are having when marketing to Gen Z, because everything and everyone can be easily canceled with the push of a button on fear around that right? There's so much fear that brands don't take risks anymore. They're really calculated or careful not to or watch what they say or do. And I think one of the biggest things is, like, we need to change. We need to flip the script and start having Council culture and allowing people to ask questions and to be inquisitive and more importantly, to humanize and tell stories. Like, I was giving this guy advice, and I said, look, if you just tell a story, if you took a moment and this is my advice to him where you said, hey, by the way, you know what? I have a trans brother. He just randomly recently came out as transgender. Our family is like, navigating. It. It's a different space for us. And I'm a supporter of the community. I would say that would change the hearts and minds in an instant of the people who are in that room. Because you have now tapped into an emotional story, a hook. You humanized, somebody within your scope or your realm. You've made it real. And that's where we start to eliminate prejudice. We start to eliminate fear. We start to eliminate ignorance, because that's really where it all stems from is all the shit that's going on in Florida with the Segue bill. I guarantee half those people that are fighting for that do not have an LGBTQ son, daughter, them, cousin, nephew, niece, nibling. They don't have anyone in the world who is part of our community. Because if they did, they wouldn't support something so ugly and so negative. 100%, the negativity, that fear based, fear mongering, all of that.
I love that. Instead of cancel Culture Council culture because it's educational and positive and reinforcing and like you said, makes it real because you're bringing the story of your own connectivity to this community to life. I love that. So I know you're also fundraising right now, so I wanted to give you a moment to pitch that because I want to make sure that any of our audience that's listening in that wants to support this amazing movement, this amazing platform has a chance to do that. So how can people get in touch with you if they're interested in getting more involved?
Yeah, absolutely. So my life as a CEO, I'm always raising money or selling advertisers. It's easily evangelizing one of those two opportunities, which, again, both have been extremely positive and great, took a while. It took about four or five years before we got there. But we're here now, and it's an exciting time in our history with this company. But the easiest way to get in touch with me is through my email. Damian, D-A-M-I-A-N media media on all platforms, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Or reach out to Revry TV. Same thing, handle as Revry TV on all platforms and tune in and watch. There's lots of great content. And then I guarantee you'll enjoy something on our platform, if not all of it. Yeah. It's such great content, truly, in the last few minutes that we have, I want to flip the script a little bit and talk a little bit more about you as a human. Get to know you a little bit. So this is kind of quick fire. Top of mind. What is the one thing that you could not live without during Covid and you can't say your platform or products. No, I wouldn't say it that far. I think I can't live without drink. I would.
Love that. Love that. What is your go to drink of choice in the evening?
Well, a nice glass of red wine. Red wine.
Okay. If you win Black magic wand and make anything happen for Revry right now, what would that look like?
Get acquired by Apple?
You heard it here at first, folks. That is a big, hairy, audacious goal if I've ever heard one. I love that.
Well, I've had it on some panels, so it may not be okay, but I will say, though not taking away from the moment. But I will say that Apple was the inspiration for our company. Tim Cook and Steve Jobs have always been inspirations of mine. And dating back to like that marketing video for Steve Jobs in the 90s where they created a culture around a product, around a company. And I feel like that's what we're doing is doing and that's our goal is uplift and create culture around queer, our community. And that inspires me. And hopefully, if I could wave a wand and say, who would be the person that you would want to be acquired by? Without a doubt, my dream would be Apple.
So shall it be. I'm putting that energy out there and wiggling my fingers in the air for you. Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle. Fairy dust. I love that. Last question. And then I'm going to hand the floor back to you for final words of wisdom. Last question is, what is your favorite word? And one, it could be a word that had real meaning to you over time or something that just popped into your head during our conversation.
Unapologetic. What does that mean to you? Well, our catchphrase at Revry is unapologetically queer. And to me, what that means is living your life. Unapologetically means you are living your life without living your life authentically, but without burden, without fear and with intention. Because when you do that, it's that old adage, when you let your light shine, it encourages others to let theirs.
I love that. I'm so glad that we were reconnected, Damian, and it really makes me joyful every time we're back together again in the final few minutes we have I just want to give you the floor to inspire and share your message and any final words of wisdom for our audience.
Yeah. Look, I mean, if there is anyone who is LGBTQ who is listening to this are tuning in. As I was saying, being unapologetically queer is our catchphrase, but it's a movement. But being other is so important. I think that our greatest superhero strength is what makes us all so unique and successful people. The thing that I found in the three line of it is they have passion and they have no fear to live your life, whether that's personally or professionally, with no fear. And the sky is the limit.
I love that I love you. Thank you so much for spending some time with us today, Damian.
My pleasure. I'd love to come back anytime you need me.
You are always welcome and you can come in and cohost we'll have some brands on. Yes, that would be fine. That's a nice shirt, Mayor. Some Pino.
Definitely more in the Pino for me. And thanks to everyone who tuned in. Stay tuned for more from elevate your brand coming up next.