Three key hires have come on board to run Warner Brothers Digital Network, a division that manages both distribution and content for the label in the digital space.
Former Spotify acquisitions head Eric Besner was named senior vice president in business development. Native son Greg Salter will serve as senior vice president in business and strategic planning, moving over from the same department at WB corporate. Katie Soo, formerly of Fullscreen Media and Hulu, has been named senior vice president of marketing.
All three will report to Warner Bros. Digital Networks Executive Vice President Jay Levine.
“They each bring broad experience and a digital-native perspective to their respective areas of expertise and will be key in helping us ramp up our operations as we continue to grow both our digital short-form production and OTT offerings,” Levine said in a statement.
Before Spotify, Besner was a flagship member of the Netflix Originals team, overseeing that launch as VP of original programming. He’s also worked with Lucasfilm.
Soo will increase brand awareness and direct consumer relationships. At Hulu, she served as Head of Social across brand, originals, content and product. She’s also an early alum of Dollar Shave Club, the viral sensation that sold in 2016 for a reported billion dollars.
At corporate, Salter oversaw mergers and acquisitions and strategic investment. He’ll provide a similar function at the digital network, reporting to WB Chief Digital Officer and EVP Thomas Gewecke.
“To me, this is the most exciting part of the business and the fastest growth area,” Salter told TheWrap. “If you look at consumer behavior and its evolution to platforms and formats, we have a huge opportunity to tap into that.”
Salter said the team will focus on “how to reimagine the studio in the digital era, and that includes skillsets and abilities to get closer to our consumer.”
Warner Bros. Digital Networks consists of the studio’s digital and OTT video services, producing native content and tasked with growing direct-to-consumer business. They work with with sister divisions Turner and HBO, and have a portfolio that includes Boomerang (a partnership with Turner, Machinima, Uninterrupted (a partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter), Ellen Digital Ventures (a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres), a DC Entertainment-branded service debuting in 2018 and more to be announced.