MyBundle doubles staff, hires ex-Vizio executive Scott Kessler to oversee streaming partnerships

Streaming marketplace MyBundle has more than doubled its employee count over the last six weeks to include the hiring of an industry veteran who will be tasked with building out the company's streaming service partnerships.

The executive, Scott Kessler, comes to MyBundle by way of Vizio and Roku, where he worked in similar business development roles. At MyBundle, Kessler will be tasked with nurturing existing agreements with streaming services while also looking for new partnerships with direct-to-consumer providers that build on MyBundle's mission of being a one-stop shop for all things streaming.

In an interview with StreamTV Insider on Tuesday, Kessler said he learned about MyBundle a few years ago, when the coronavirus pandemic was upending the industry. While on LinkedIn, he saw a colleague from Roku had "liked" a post about the company, and he was intrigued.

"I was checking out MyBundle and I thought, this is intriguing, it's clearly new and early, but let me keep an eye on it just to see where they go," Kessler said. "Well, I kept my eye on them over the years, and when it was the right time for me, I reached out. It was a good fit for me and the company...and here we are."

His hiring comes as MyBundle is working on several next-generation tools to further its consumer and enterprise-driven services. For months, MyBundle has been focused on developing and launching a subscription management platform that allows consumers — including those who are using MyBundle through their broadband company — to sign up for various third-party streaming subscriptions without having to leave MyBundle itself.

If that sounds familiar, it might be because Kessler's former employer, Vizio, has something similar in their product lineup called "Vizio Account," which allows users of their smart TVs to buy subscriptions to a number of services. Kessler said he wasn't involved in the development of Vizio Account, but affirmed he helped facilitate some of the hardware maker's partnerships with streaming services — and he's already hearing from some of those partners about working with his new employer.

"A few of the larger streaming services in the industry, people I've worked with at Roku and Vizio — once I announced on LinkedIn that I was joining MyBundle, I got a number of texts and message from them saying, 'Hey, I saw your post, I looked into the company, let's talk more once you've got your feet under you,'" Kessler said.

Those conversations will be integral in getting MyBundle to the next level: Of the 150 streaming services in its marketplace, MyBundle has affiliation agreements with around two dozen of them, according to MyBundle co-founder and CEO Jason Cohen. But just two services — Sling TV and Tastemade — utilize the full potential of what MyBundle can deliver, by integrating into the subscription management part of the platform.

"Some more are on the way, and some of our conversations pre-date [Kessler] joining the company," Cohen said in an interview over Google Meet on Tuesday.

Cohen said the need to hire Kessler and other staff came after realizing that the team needed to grow in order to get MyBundle to the next level. For more than four years, Cohen and a small staff of executives have broken new ground with more than 180 broadband providers who are increasingly looking to get out of legacy video products and point consumers toward streaming services, with MyBundle as a frictionless way to offer video products to broadband customers who want them.

But MyBundle was not going to get to the next level without bringing more people into the mix. Over the past six weeks, MyBundle has hired several new executives who are tasked with furthering the company's partnerships with broadband providers, which Cohen said is one half of the business equation. The other half is hiring Kessler to work on the streaming partnerships, and there are new bodies at MyBundle focused on marketing and data analytics to wrap everything together.

In addition to the new hires, MyBundle is also embracing new technology solutions that can help it quickly scale its business. Last month, MyBundle announced a new partnership with Bango, a provider of technology that helps facilitate subscriptions and payments between merchants and consumers. The partnership will allow MyBundle to integrate Bango-built technology into its streaming marketplace and subscription management platform, eliminating the need to develop those solutions from scratch, which can be time-consuming.

None of this is happening fast enough for Cohen, who spent more than a decade on Wall Street, where things happen at a breakneck pace. But things are finally starting to fall into place for MyBundle, as Cohen envisioned it several years ago — the hiring of Kessler was just the latest achievement — and he said he's excited about the new things that feel like they are finally within reach.

"Everything that we do, to be honest, we could be doing better — there's more to be done," Cohen said. "It's always, what comes next? The oft-used metaphor of skate to where the puck is going — we've been doing that, but the puck is catching up. This new team allows us to skate harder."