GoPro is getting ready to step up its content game: Charlotte Koh, who used to lead Hulu’s original content initiatives, has joined GoPro in a newly created position as head of features and series.
Koh is tasked with striking partnerships with Hollywood creatives as well as studios and networks to develop and co-produce new content with the help of GoPro’s signature small cameras. “It’s really about creating a GoPro content banner on top of the technology,” she told Variety in her first interview since joining the company last month.
Koh didn’t reveal too much about the types of content that will come out of these collaborations, in part because that work is still in a “seed-planting stage,” as she put it. The company’s efforts will initially focus on unscripted and documentary content, partly because it wants to test and iterate quickly on content production. “Making something unscripted is obviously faster,” Koh said, while adding that scripted content is still “within the realm of possibility” over time.
GoPro, which introduced a new model dubbed the GoPro Hero4 Session this week, has long been public about bigger media ambitions. The company has been distributing videos via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms for some time, and more recently has struck media partnerships with ESPN and NHL.
With these new efforts, GoPro could take distribution even further. Asked whether GoPro will try to co-produce shows or documentaries that will air on traditional TV networks, Koh replied: “That is definitely on the table.”
Thus far, most of GoPro’s content efforts have been about promoting its brand, but the company also began to make some money with ads and sponsored content in 2014. “The revenue earned from these GoPro Channels was not material to us in 2014,” the company declared in its 2014 annual report, adding: “We will seek to increase revenue from these GoPro channels and pursue new revenue opportunities from the distribution of engaging GoPro content.”
Koh said that we are going to see more monetization of GoPro content in the medium term. Eventually, content could become a real line of business for the company, said Koh, but she also cautioned not to expect too much too soon. “You have to take your time to build something that will last,” she said.
Koh worked more than three years for Hulu before leaving the company a little over a year ago. As Hulu’s head of originals, she was key to the creation of a number of the company’s original shows, including “Deadbeat,” “The Awesomes” and “Behind the Mask.” Before Hulu, Koh worked as senior VP of biz dev for Marvel, and creative executive for Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Koh isn’t the only former Hulu-gan to recently join GoPro. Notably, she was joined last month by Jon Cohen, whose duties as the company’s new director of content distribution include “increasing GoPro’s awareness and revenue through content,” according to his Linkedin profile. Cohen worked for four years at Hulu, most recently as the company’s director of business development and content distribution, before leaving in March.
Both Koh and Cohen report to former CBS exec Zander Lurie, who started as GoPro’s senior VP of media last November.
Koh pointed to these hires to show how serious the company is about content. “Their DNA is a company that values content creators,” she said.