ViacomCBS has restructured its streaming operations in the UK by forming a new division to oversee growth across all of its on demand services.
The ‘growth and partnerships division’ is part of ViacomCBS’s plan to increase streaming revenue from services such as My5, the AVOD belonging to broadcaster Channel 5, and Pluto TV UK.
It is to be led by Dan Fahy, who has been promoted to SVP & head of emerging business and will report into Sarah Rose, the former Channel 4 exec who joined ViacomCBS Networks UK (VCN UK) last year.
She now becomes chief operating & commercial officer and will continue to report to Maria Kyriacou, president of ViacomCBS UK and Australia.
Fahy, who joined VCN UK in 2016 as VP of commercial & content distribution for ViacomCBS Networks International, will oversee all aspects of the new division, which will bring analytics, monetisation, growth marketing, customer experience and streaming partnership functions together into one team.
The rejig means Pluto TV in the UK will move under local management, having previously sat within a pan-EMEA team, and be joined by My5, SVOD MTV Play and Nick Jr.’s interactive learning app, Noggin.
TBI understands there are no plans at present for any changes to be made to the current content teams working across the services.
Hire from Sky
Working as part of the combined unit, Ashley Sennik has been appointed to VP of growth for UK streaming and Akhila Khanna has been promoted to VP of partner engagement & business development.
Sennik, whose arrival follows a five-year stint at Sky’s streamer Now TV, will be responsible for overseeing the growth of engagement and monetisation of the streamers, whilst Khanna will be responsible for streaming partnerships and business development.
Sennik will jointly report to Fahy and Marco Nobili, SVP of international marketing & growth, streaming, VCN Americas. Khanna reports to Fahy and Angela Heckman, SVP of streaming revenue & operations, VCN International.
Fahy said: “By uniting all of our critical growth functions under one new and dedicated team, we’re ensuring that our platforms have the capabilities and resource needed to reach their full potential.”
ViacomCBS has been attempting to rapidly pivot its business towards streaming over the past year, recently announcing launch dates for its SVOD offering Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, the Nordics and Australia. The service’s debut in the UK and across much of Europe is not yet known.
ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish is set to provide further details of the company’s streaming strategy during an investors presentation on 24 February. He has already said he wants its fast-growing AVOD service Pluto TV to “funnel” customers to SVOD’s Paramount+ and Showtime OTT.
ViacomCBS is also planning to shut down its smaller legacy streamers, such as MTV Hits, as the focus turns to Paramount+, with other platforms potentially in the firing line ranging from Noggin to Comedy Central Now.