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Having a “dream job” at a cool Brooklyn startup is a well-earned cliché, Head of Video at Genius Regina Dellea admits. Being in charge of video at one of the biggest musical companies around sounds like a daunting challenge, but Dellea knows the responsibilities and perks of the jobs are well worth it—including everything from producing a Desiigner lyric video to running the Genius YouTube channel. After all, this is an exciting time for video on the internet, which is still “in its infancy” with lot of work to be done, Dellea says.
How/why did you become involved in your line of work that resulted in you becoming the Head of Video at Genius?
My high school in New Hampshire had a TV program that I took my junior year, and I immediately decided I loved it and wanted to go to film school when I graduated. I applied to Fitchburg State University, where I studied film and video production. While there, I started taking every opportunity I could get to work on sets or on TV shows. Eventually, during my senior year, I took a full time internship in New York at SB Nation, a sports website in the Vox Media family. They eventually hired me full time and I went on to work at Vox in many different roles. Then I left for Mic, where I helped them launch video, and eventually I went to Genius, where I am now.
Tell us a little bit about your day to day and what is at stake, no doubt being busy with the continuously rising platform and all.
My day to day varies a lot. Sometimes it’s producing shoots and actually being on set, sometimes it’s full of meetings in and out of the office… I’ll let you guess which one is more fun. Just kidding; I’m actually one of those annoying people who genuinely loves my job and has fun at work the majority of the time. As far as what’s at stake, video is pretty new at Genius and it’s a big part of our strategy as a company, so I’m really just focused on growing it out in a way that’s sustainable and that we all can be really proud of. What that entails is different just about every day.
My favorite experience at Genius so far was the day we collaborated with Desiigner to release the official “Tiimmy Turner” lyric video, since that was my first major project here and the one that I spent a ton of time and energy on. It was really, really amazing to see it come together and be released to the rest of the world.
What is your proudest achievement with this work and what is your greatest challenge?
My proudest achievement at Genius is honestly the growth of our YouTube channel. Building an audience organically is hard, and it takes a lot of trial and error. But we’ve been on a great track since we started focusing on video and the growth of the subscriber rate has been a good metric for how people feel about the content. My greatest challenge is figuring out how to maintain consistency and efficiency while also experimenting and trying new things. We have regular output goals, but we also need to keep diversifying so that our content doesn’t get stale, and it’s often tricky to decide which to prioritize.
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What do you hope changes or improves (or continues!) in your line of work in the future?
I think video on the internet has a long way to go; it’s really in its infancy and there’s a lot of work left to be done. I think we all have to figure out monetization and how to make video sustainable, as well as finding the balance between quality and scalability and how to make our brands and styles unique. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also a little bit like the Wild West.
For fun, who in Brooklyn would you nominate for this list?
I’d nominate Andrew Oppeneer, our creative director at Genius. It’s maybe weird to nominate a coworker, but he’s genuinely the most creative, talented person I know and he also has a really cool work history and an interesting outlook on the industry, in general.
Runner up would actually be my roommate, Julianne Ross, who is a correspondent at MTV News and just an overall badass Brooklyn feminist.
Learn more about this year’s 100 Influencers in Brooklyn Culture
Photo by Jane Bruce