An ‘Over-the-Top’ African American Tech Entrepreneur

Andre Swanston co-founded the company Tru Optik which creates intelligence and analytical software for media and entertainment companies.

Tech Entrepreneur
(Image: File)

Fact: African Americans are 30% more likely to consume OTT entertainment than other demographics. OTT stands for “over-the-top” content, which means any entertainment content that’s Internet-delivered and playable on a variety of devices such as Rokus, smartphones, laptops, and more.

That fact comes courtesy of very intelligent software, Tru Optik. At the helm of Tru Optik is Andre Swanston its CEO and co-founder.

Watching What the Watchers Watch

Tru Optik is a set of software solutions to help media and entertainment companies know what people watch and consume online, so that those companies can make better decisions on the content they create, on advertising, and more.

The company also offers a cloud solution. “It’s a set of APIs and dashboards, so companies can gather intelligence,” says Swanston.

Swanston is a tech entrepreneur with a background in marketing. He and his co-founder, Alex Geis, launched the company two years ago.

“We were looking at the shift in media and entertainment consumption,” he says. “We have a bunch of media companies using our technologySony Pictures is a client we’ve done work with, [as well as] Dish, and we have a global partnership with Mindshare.”

Swanston and his business partner initially funded the company through their own efforts, bootstrapping to get it off the ground.

“And then, in the last 18 months, we raised about 2.5 million from angel investors and VCs,” says Swanston.

An Expert on Digital Consumption

Since his company is all about analyzing trends in digital content and consumption, Swanston has his pulse on what is happening with media and entertainment.

“OTT is the fastest growing opportunity in media and entertainment,” he advises.  “That’s where we are seeing a lot of growth—over 300 to 400% growth across connected TVs.”

As to the reason why African Americans are more likely to consume OTT content over other demographics? Social media, Swanston says.

“African Americans’ social media consumption has to do with digital consumption. If they are spending most of their time on digital devices, it’s a natural evolution.”

Here’s one more interesting fact about Swanston; he went to the same boarding school as another black tech entrepreneur, Tristan Walker.