Rooster Teeth was supposed to own the YouTube ecosystem for gaming. Then the company was poised to build out an independent, viable subscription video service. Then the company was supposed to help AT&T learn gaming and Gen Z.

Today, Rooster Teeth has evolved – or pivoted – to become a fan community for fans of animation,  gaming, and web video in general that is backed by advertising and a booming podcast business. It’s still part of Warner Discovery (by way of Fullscreen and Otter Media and AT&T). For the latest episode of the Next in Media podcast, I talked to Jordan Levin, General Manager at Rooster Teeth about this twenty year old survivor media company’s remarkable journey from high flying player in the streaming wars to its new focus today.

“The company provide that it could make high quality premium movies and series.,” Levin told me about the height of Rooster Teeh’s investment in a niche subscription platform. “But the platform in and of itself just couldn’t support the economic scale needed to offset that investment.”

Unfortunately, that’s a tale that was shared among many digital media media upstarts over the past decade.

Levin, who once ran the WB network and even served a short stint at as content chief at Xbox, also gave me his take on the state of network TV, the upfronts, and how gaming is reshaping everything.

The video on this page is a short excerpt. Listen to the full interview with Levin on Next in Media here on Spotify or here on Apple Podcasts. Next in Media is produced in partnership with Beet.TV, presented by MiQ.