Kara Swisher

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Blake Krikorian Joins FreeWheel Board

Well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Amazon board member Blake Krikorian is joining the board of directors of FreeWheel, the video tech start-up that helps entertainment companies manage content across digital platforms.

FreeWheel’s customers include NBC Universal, Vevo, Fox, Turner and ABC. It has raised close to $29 million in funding from a number of venture firms, such as Battery Ventures and Foundation Capital.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company said Krikorian will help with corporate strategy and partnerships.

Krikorian was founder and CEO of Sling Media, the device maker which was acquired by EchoStar in 2007. He’s been an angel investor since then, and became an Amazon director last fall.

In an interview, Krikorian said that monetization and rights management have held back innovation in online video, but that content owners have recently released some promising products, such as Disney’s new Apple iOS apps for watching linear television programming.

“FreeWheel has built a trusted technology platform to manage the money flow for video content providers and distributors as their content is delivered across the Web and on mobile,” said Krikorian. “With these business and technology foundations in place, I can finally see the day coming when every media company will deliver all their programming online, in all of its forms including live linear TV.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work