Kaufman reports to Alexandra Shapiro, USA’s exec VP of brand marketing and digital. Based in New York, he will oversee product development, monetization strategies and content development for the NBCUniversal-owned cabler’s digital properties.
“Data and consumer insights are becoming increasingly important in how we create compelling user experiences and value for our partners,” Shapiro said. “Jeffrey’s varied expertise in the digital space, combined with his research background, make him perfectly positioned to lead USA’s digital strategy.”
As senior VP of digital video for Alloy, Kaufman led video strategy, programming and production for all channels including Smosh — which ranks as one of the most-subscribed on YouTube, with more than 16 million followers — as well as The Escapist, Teen, The Gloss and Clevver. He also launched new original channels including Smosh Games, one of the fastest-growing channels in YouTube history garnering one million subscribers in just over three months.
Kaufman began his career at MTV Networks where he led brand insights, research and strategy for more than 10 years. He also has worked at Howcast, where he is credited for launching several groundbreaking video-focused social media campaigns, and was a brand-strategy consultant for YouTube.
Kaufman’s move to USA marks his return to NBCUniversal: In 2006 he led content strategy and editorial for the launches of two digital entertainment initiatives: online video service Hulu and the digital video syndication marketplace The National Broadband Co.
USA has been at the forefront of TV networks trying to exploit digital distribution and social media. Last year the cabler launched USA Sync, which syndicates content to more than 95 million users across web, mobile and social channels, as well as second-screen apps, including Shazam, Viggle, Zeebox and NextGuide.