YouTube multi-channel network Fullscreen has figured out how to amass an incredible amount of viewership (26 million individuals in the U.S. alone watched more than 370 million videos under the umbrella of Fullscreen in January 2014), attract top-tier online video talent (the MCN successfully courted The Fine Bros. back in December 2013 and has been able to attract and hold onto other recognizable names like Shane Dawson, Lindsey Stirling, Devin Supertramp, Lohanthony, and HowToBasic), and prepare for a mobile-first future (especially after the company’s acquisition of Viddy).
Now Fullscreen is beefing up its executive ranks to take advantage of its positioning within the online video marketplace. The self-proclaimed “First Media Company for the Connected Generation” announced today it’s brought on board Michael Wann as Chief Revenue Officer and Ashley Kaplan as Head of Content.
Wann comes to Fullscreen by way of SpinMedia (where he was CRO), Demand Media (where he was Executive Vice President of Business Development), Amazon, and MSNBC.com. In his new position, Wann will oversee “business development, integrated marketing and advertising operations for the company.” Needless to say, he’s very bullish on the online video space.
“The entire space of native sponsored content is just starting to emerge and there is still a lot opportunity to be explored in this undefined territory,” said Wann in the release. “For us, it comes down to understanding connections: connecting the right stories with the right advertisers, while having the ability to be creators ourselves. We have the opportunity to discover multiple revenue streams within this space and to mold the future of media and entertainment in the process.”
Kaplan comes to Fullscreen by way of the Magic Elves production company (where she was Vice President of Digital Content and Strategy and worked on such ancillary television productions as the Emmy Award-winning Top Chef’s Last Chance Kitchen), Logo, and Current TV (where she was a producer way back in 2005). In her new position, Kaplan will be responsible for the production and development of premium content with talent (like the high-profile YouTubers mentioned above) and brands (which will hopefully be integrated into productions in more meaningful ways than we’ve seen on some reality TV shows).
“The conventions of storytelling are changing,” said Kaplan in the release. “The younger generation craves media that is drastically different from what traditional television programming offers. They want personalized content that is available across devices at a moment’s notice. Fullscreen embraces these new conventions and offered me the perfect environment to create premium content with and for this generation.”
It makes sense Fullscreen would announce Wann and Kaplan’s appointments at the same time. The pair has the potential to make for a vicious one-two punch. Ideally, Wann would set up and sell an advertiser on a specific entertainment product or brand initiative, and Kaplan would bring the campaign from conception to production to upload and beyond. Or vice versa. But regardless of the logistics of how they come to be, expect to see a lot more branded entertainment campaigns from Fullscreen in the near future.