Ben Lavender, the man once credited with ‘saving the BBC’, is now backing a disruptive online platform.
The former founder of BBC iPlayer is helping to formulate a platform to help content creators get their work noticed — and financially rewarded.
Ben Lavender, from Letchworth Garden City, recalls the moment he presented the iPlayer idea to the BBC’s executive committee. “They gave me a round of applause and the director-general [Greg Dyke] said ‘you saved the BBC’.”
Lavender, now fully behind the Lounges.tv, went on to lead the design and development of the LOVEFiLM video-streaming service in the UK and Germany. That project led to its acquisition by Amazon — laying the groundwork for what would become Prime Video.
He served as the principal product manager for Amazon Instant Video before moving to DAZN, where he took on the chief product officer’s role. Lavender led the product from start-up to launch in nine countries. A key early player in the streaming service dubbed “the Netflix of sport”, Lavender was the sixth staff member to join — enabling him to hand-pick his team.
After six years in that role, Lavender joined Lounges.tv, initially to help shape the concept in its formative stages. He stayed on, and alongside Lounges.tv’s co-founder and CEO, Scott Green, became a key member of the team that pitched the idea to music mogul and TV personality Simon Cowell.
Looking to address long-standing issues in the industry, the platform provides what it calls “a fairer and faster way for content creators to monetise their content online”. It ensures that they keep 80 percent of all their streaming income — and are paid within 24 hours of their on-demand content or livestream.
Catering to creators from musicians and comedians to fitness trainers, Lounges.tv offers a space to share exclusive content through live interactive and video-on-demand streaming. It also offers a free streaming space in North London for creators to produce content, with professional quality cameras and audio, with sound and stream engineers on-hand.
Thousands have signed up to the ad-free platform, and joining Cowell and Lavender in cheerleading is the former manager of Prince, Kiran Sharma.
Ben Lavender said it was a platform that resonated with him. “Now that Lounges.tv has Cowell’s backing, the platform can really kick on and continue to make inroads,” he said.
He views Lounges.tv as a democratising force for people who could not otherwise get involved. “My wife was a professional dancer,” he said, “and her friends still in the business invested in Lounges.tv before they even found out I was involved — so it ticked two boxes for them.
“There are a lot of people in the industry who are excited about this and sense that the future is bright for content creators.”
Lounges.tv Co-Founder and CEO Scott Green says Lavender will play a key role in forming and driving strategy “as we optimise our mobile service”.
The platform would allow content creators “to shine amidst the noise” and garner deserved recognition. “By eliminating the reliance on ads and introducing diverse fan-funding options, our platform departs from the conventional ad-centric model,” he said.