Live streaming has become very popular in this age of digital transformation and you need powerful live streaming and recording software like XSplit for producing and delivering rich video contents. The CEO Sean Fee will be sharing more details with us in this interview with TechBullion.
Please tell us your name and about yourself?
My name is Sean Fee and I’m the CEO of XSplit. I started my career in investment banking after spending the good part of 7 years studying and travelling during which time I got a degree in Economics, a Masters in Financial Economics and a Masters in Business Management. After a few years working on mergers and acquisitions and public listings I decided to leave the finance industry and started my first tech startup, a video recipe website, with my best friend in 2007. We raised some seed capital, appeared on the UK version of Dragon’s Den and launched an iPhone app that was named by Apple as one of the top 100 apps in the first year of the Apple app store…but we still failed. After that I became CEO of a traditional training company that wanted to branch into video-based elearning. After a couple of years of good growth in this business we had established ourselves as one of the leading providers of elearning to corporate customers in the UK & Ireland. I exited this business in 2013 and spent a few years travelling and consulting with startups and large media companies before I started my next Startup, Player.me, in 2014. In 2016, we sold Player.me to XSplit and since then I’ve worked across the organization in a number of roles before being appointed CEO in December 2020.
What is XSplit?
XSplit is a company that builds digital media software applications that help people to communicate, in real time and asynchronously, through video. We are largely known for our successful software XSplit Broadcaster which has been a staple in the live streaming and content creation world for over ten years now. In the last few years we have also launched XSplit VCam, our revolutionary AI-driven virtual background software, and Connect: Webcam, our mobile app that allows you to use your mobile camera as a webcam. More recently we’ve released XSplit Presenter, a new app that allows people to deliver engaging, media rich presentations on web conferencing platforms, live streaming platforms or via pre-recorded video.
What unique products and services are you offering for business?
XSplit Presenter has been specifically created with business in mind, designed from the ground up with the aim of making online presentations more personal, more professional, and most importantly more engaging! You can easily import your presentations from places like Google Slides or Powerpoint, including your notes, and then add some flair and personality before using XSplit Presenter as your virtual camera in services like Zoom, Teams, Skype or other web conferencing tools. You can add live annotations and highlights over your presentation, like a virtual whiteboard, and add your webcam into the presentation itself and remove your background so you’re part of the presentation without blocking any of your important content. You can also pull in your monitor, a browser or specific apps so that you can live demo a product without having to share your entire desktop.
What is the global market size of the SaaS market and what is the level of demand for XSplit services?
The market for tools that help people to communicate through video is huge and spans a diverse range of products from video recording tools to production tools to live streaming tools. It’s also growing incredibly quickly as more people are producing user-generated content (from simple instagram videos to professional podcasts). Our business has historically been very popular among the gaming community that wanted to use our tools to create live-streamed gaming content (for platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Facebook) as the gamers are usually the early adopters of new technology and ways of sharing their passion for gaming with others. However, over the last few years we’ve started to see a significant increase in the amount of demand for our products from the non-gaming audience as more businesses are embracing video as a way to communicate with their customers, their partners and their team. Our customer base transitioned from 90% gaming customers to 50% gaming and 50% business, education and entrepreneur users. We also saw explosive growth when the whole world moved to work from home which really accelerated a trend we were already seeing from our customer base. For example, our VCam virtual background product saw 1,000% growth in monthly active users in 2020.
Tell us more about the XSplit broadcaster professional live streaming and recording studio, how does it work?
XSplit Broadcaster is, as you say, a professional live streaming and recording studio designed with content creators and live producers in mind. For over ten years it has been trusted by some of the biggest esports events to the biggest content creators to handle live broadcasts and recording footage from video games, cameras, and audio all in one package. It has also found uses for anyone who wants to easily broadcast live to the internet on sites like Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and more across the world!
What is special about the XSplit VCam, how does it work?
XSplit VCam was developed in-house using AI and machine learning to automatically remove or replace the background of a webcam in real time without the need for a green screen or an elaborate lighting setup. We initially created this with content creators in mind but with the boom in working from home people found the ease, effectiveness, and customization options (like using a YouTube video as your background!) ideal for their Zoom meetings. It’s not only fun but a great way to get some privacy baked right into your webcam!
The XSplit connect webcam seems to be a new product offering, how does it work?
We noticed, with the success of VCam, a lot of people were looking to upgrade their webcam from the more standard built-in laptop camera. Connect: Webcam takes the best camera you probably already have, your smartphone, and lets you use it as a wireless webcam! It’s available for free on both iOS and Android devices and simply connects to VCam as long as your phone is connected to the same WiFi network as your PC! From there, it acts like a normal webcam!
XSplit is optimized to work with other streaming gears and partners, what are the benefits?
Our partnerships with companies like Logitech and Elgato to name a few, you get custom functionality with the gear you buy built right into XSplit’s suite of programs. So, for example, you can easily access your Logitech webcam settings in XSplit Broadcaster or VCam. An Elgato Streamdeck has a ton of customization options for XSplit Broadcaster right out of the box. With each update we offer, we make sure they are reflected in the gear you already have and the gear you’re going to have in the future.
Do you have any available opportunities for investors and business professionals at XSplit?
We’re not a traditionally venture capital backed company and in fact have only ever raised a small $300k angel round in 2009. We’ve managed to build our business to date without the need for additional capital but we also realize the demand for our products is starting to become more mainstream. With the increased demand there’s a real opportunity to have our technology and products, which have been developed over the last 10 years to support the most demanding type of customer (gamers), become a market leader in the space of visual communication tools so we may look to raise a round of capital in the coming period to execute on the growth we’re seeing.
Tell us more about the XSplit support community?
This is something I’m most proud of! We’ve gained a sizable community of people on our forums and Discord who help each other after years of using our software and developing it almost in tandem with our own ideas and suggestions from our users. That’s not all, we offer a 24/7 support service staffed internally and available both through live chat on our website or on our social media channels. Whatever your question or problem, we’re here for you every step of the way. It’s something we believe sets us apart from a lot of companies in our industry.
Do you have more information for our readers?
Only to say that XSplit Presenter is available in private beta right now for anyone to try! We honestly believe it’s going to make people’s working lives easier and as is the case with all of our products, it’s a process we want to evolve together with our users!
For more information, visit the website: https://www.xsplit.com/