Thomas Frank: Online videos on demand

It’s not surprising Thomas Frank ended up as president and CEO of a major company. As a senior at the University of Cincinnati, Frank would read the promotions sections in trade magazines — and make it a point to then call and congratulate the business higher-ups on their new positions. He would usually also ask for a job and it would usually work out.

Frank, 43, was named president and CEO of Akimbo Systems, an Internet video-on-demand company, at the end of March. Frank describes his job as president and CEO as “being able to be multilingual” and “hav[ing] the opportunity to speak and understand the different languages” of advertisers, distributors, content owners, and engineers.

Akimbo currently has more than 14,500 shows available from 165 different providers. Shows range from television channels and programs to movies, music videos, video blogs and user-generated content from Yahoo. About 40 percent of the content is free; the rest is distributed by subscription or individual transactions, with fees beginning at $0.49.

During his tenure as president and CEO, Frank would like to more fully enact what he calls the value proposition: providing a high-quality experience and providing plenty of choice — “what they want, when they want it,” he said.

Just as the Internet allows companies to exercise greater creativity in delivery style, content and marketing, customers can use the same powerful tool to compare quality, price and delivery options between companies. Consumers have more power today than they have in the past, Frank said.

But this doesn’t mean Frank is concerned about the market or competition. “Just about everybody claims to be in this space; Akimbo’s actually doing it,” he said. Frank hopes to further capitalize on the first-mover advantage by making Akimbo services available on as many different platforms as possible. Akimbo is currently available on your TV via the RCA Akimbo player or AT&T Homezone, and on Media Center PCs. Akimbo should be available for Windows PCs by the end of the month. There are currently no plans to make Akimbo available for Macintosh computers.

Frank graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in English literature focused in latter 20th Century feminist poetry. Before coming to Akimbo Systems, Frank worked for Real Networks, Dick Clark Productions, Leo Burnett Co., Carolco Television, and White Dog Media.

businessBusiness & Real Estate

Just Posted

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Most Read