Endemol Beyond USA, the digital multichannel network unit of global TV production firm Endemol, hired former Disney executive and entrepreneur David B. Williams as chief content and technology strategist.
As VP of entertainment and platforms for Disney Online Originals, Williams launched Take180, a digital studio and YouTube network, and MyDcast, Disney’s platform for user-generated video. He came to Disney in 2008 after the Mouse House acquired FanLib, a startup that showcased fan fiction and video.
Most recently, he was founder and CEO of consulting firm Volectro, where for the past two years he worked with digital networks including Maker Studios and Alloy Digital to develop distribution distribution strategies and deploy mobile apps.
Williams, who will remain based in Los Angeles, reports to Endemol Beyond USA president Will Keenan, who joined the company from Maker Studios last fall.
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“David Williams is one of the most brilliant and talented individuals in the digital space,” Keenan said. “As Endemol Beyond USA’s chief content & technology strategist, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our global master plan.”
Williams returned the compliment to Keenan, calling his new boss a “visionary” in a prepared statement and he looks forward with helping Endemol “blaze new trails and build the next great media brands for a new generation.”
Williams’ brother, Chris Williams, is chief audience officer at Maker — having joined the MCN in 2012 after serving as VP and g.m. of Disney Online Originals. Disney is acquiring Maker Studios in a deal worth up to $950 million.
Prior to Disney, David Williams was CEO of Visionary Media, launching one of the first regularly scheduled online animated series, “WhirlGirl,” which Showtime Networks ran on its website.
The Endemol Beyond network launched at the end of 2014 and now generates more than 250 million views per month on YouTube, according to the company.
Last week Endemol Beyond USA announced a deal with YouTube star Michelle Phan to develop and produce original content for both TV. Under the pact, Endemol will develop Phan’s FAWN (For All Women Network), a lifestyle-oriented MCN with shows about fashion, beauty, health, wellness and culture.
Other talent signed by Endemol Beyond USA include Drea de Matteo, star of HBO’s “The Sopranos”; Courtney Love; musician-filmmaker-photographer Julian Lennon; tween pop-rapper MattyB; and Vine video creator Brittany Furlan. In January, Endemol North America announced an exclusive deal with music superstar Pitbull to develop and produce original content for TV and digital.