Maker Studios‘ presentation to advertisers at the 2014 Digital Content Newfronts made it clear that the multi-channel network is making a big investment in original content. At that event, Maker announced nine new original series, some centered around YouTube stars and other focused on traditional media creators.
With the two newest additions to its team, Maker is doubling down on that original content promise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Maker has hired Gabriel Lewis, formerly of AOL Studios, as its EVP of development and strategy. In addition, former Yahoo Screen exec Bonnie Pan has joined the Maker roster as EVP of programming.
Let’s unpack these hires one at a time. Lewis, who arrived at AOL in January 2013, was an instrumental part of AOL On’s last two rounds of original programming. With his help, AOL distributed more than two dozen original programs, all of which centered around traditional media stars or social media influencers. That last part is crucial, since Maker seems to be adopting a similar personality-based approach to most of its own originals.
As for Pan, she spent three years at Yahoo, where she worked in the web giant’s video division. She was particularly instrumental in Yahoo’s transition to long-form content. Among other accomplishments, she helped bring Community to Yahoo Screen, a deal that will bring Yahoo Screen its most significant series to date. At Maker, Pan will looking to populate the 23 verticals on which the network organizes its content. The move also reunites her with Erin McPherson, who became the multi-channel network’s CCO after leaving Yahoo in November 2013.
As McPherson explains, the new hires will help Maker utilize the “massive opportunity we have with Disney now to really expand our programming offerings.” McPherson also said that Maker will soon announce a number of initiatives with its parent company, so we’ll keep an eye out for those announcements.
Photo credit: AP