Television Business International

MTG names new Viaplay chief as Karlen exits

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Ira GladnikoffModern Times Group (MTG) has named Ira Gladnikoff (pictured) as head of its subscription video-on-demand service, Viaplay, replacing Jonas Karlén, who has decided to leave the company.

Gladnikoff, who was previously chief commercial officer at Viaplay, will take over with immediate effect.

She joined the streaming outfit in 2015, and has been credited with helping it expand its subscriber base. Viaplay has expanded its customer base fourfold between 2013-16, and grew its revenues fivefold.

“We wish Jonas well in his new ventures and thank him for his nine years at MTG and leading the successful development of Viaplay,”  said Anders Jensen, MTG’s executive VP, chairman of the Nordic entertainment management board and MTG Sweden CEO.

“It is great that we have a ready made successor in Ira, who has extensive experience in the online video entertainment space and, as CCO of Viaplay, has been responsible for so much of Viaplay’s commercial success.”

Viaplay operates in a crowded SVOD market that also includes global services Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

Jonas_Karlen“Viaplay is a fantastic entertainment product created by a hugely talented team that works very closely with our other Nordic entertainment businesses and family of brands – Viasat, Viasport, Viafree and Viareal,” said Jensen.

“MTG is unique in combining the best of linear and on-demand entertainment so that everyone can watch their favourite shows whenever and wherever they want.”

“Viaplay is a passion of mine and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to lead such a great team,” said Gladnikoff. “We provide our subscribers with a more varied streamed content experience than any other service, and there are somany opportunities to work with our fellow MTG Nordic entertainment brands to deliver even more integrated and engaging entertainment experiences – this is just the beginning.”

Karlén is to take over as CEO of Linas Matkasse, a Swedish online grocery service.