Discovery appoints Hulu’s Lisa Holme to oversee content, eyes single streamer potential

Discovery has appointed Hulu exec Lisa Holme to a newly created role overseeing content for the factual giant’s direct-to-consumer division, which is considering launching a single OTT streaming service.

Holme becomes group SVP of content and commercial strategy reporting into Peter Faricy, Discovery’s CEO of global direct-to-consumer.

She will be based in LA and will be responsible for the content strategy of Discovery’s streaming offering, including commissioning and acquiring programming.

Her remit extends to overseeing commercial strategy too, focusing on developing distribution partners.

Holme joins following almost a decade with Hulu, where she was most recently working on the US-based streamer’s international expansion plans. Before that, she was VP of content acquisitions, having had spells with US prodco Illumination Entertainment.

Former Amazon exec Faricy said Holme would bring “an impressive track record of success in content to Discovery and will be a key leader as we scale our direct-to-consumer businesses.”

“Lisa’s leadership of our DTC content strategy and commercial partnerships will further bolster Discovery’s position as the leader in unscripted entertainment across all platforms.”

Holme said: “I’m thrilled to join the team at this exciting moment as the company expands its direct-to-consumer presence, building on its success with additional high-quality programming that will reach consumers in a range of compelling, new ways.”

Single streamer evaluation

David Zaslav

Holme’s appointment was noted during a fourth quarter analyst call with Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who said his company is looking seriously at the possibility of aggregating its content assets into a single OTT streaming service.

The company increased its advertising revenues in the US and grew its domestic distribution revenue by 5% thanks to price increases and broader distribution.

Speaking after the results were posted, Zaslav said Discovery’s management was continuing to “evaluate the possibility of offering an aggregated platform of all of our channels, brands and personalities, quite possibly with the help of any number of distribution partners in the US and around the world” as an alternative to developing “superfan silos” based around specific interest areas, but had yet to take a decision.

Zaslav said that he was confident that Discovery was “playing a different game” to other streaming providers thanks to “the efficiency of our content”.

Discovery has been expanding its streaming offerings over the past 12 months, most notably striking a mega deal for BBC Studios’ natural history content that will be used for a global streamer set to launch later this year.

It is behind US service Food Network Kitchen and has partnered with ProSieben to launch Joyn in Germany and unveiled plans to create a streaming platform with pay-TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat. The factual operator is also planning to launch a streamer named ‘D Plus’ in India later this year, as revealed by TBI.

Last year, Zaslav said Discovery’s focus on factual content and sports would differentiate it from globally dominant rivals such as Netflix.

Tags: Discovery, Hulu

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