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Discovery Hires Former Spotify and Universal Music Group Exec Francis Keeling

Former Spotify and Universal Music Group executive Francis Keeling is among three senior digital hires at Discovery, with the new recruits all part of the team assembled by digital boss and former Miramax chief Michael Lang.

Eugene Huang has joined Discovery’s digital division from American Express, taking on a product and technology role. Former Google executive Jay Trinidad, who was already running Discovery’s Northern Asia operation, has now assumed digital responsibilities as well.

Keeling joined Spotify last year from UMG, but left the music streaming service this year. Based in London, he will lead Discovery’s digital strategy as SVP, international digital. He is tasked with working across new and existing OTT platforms and direct-to-consumer products and developing new digital partnerships.

At Spotify, he was global head of licensing after a decade as global head of digital at UMG. “Francis is an outstanding digital executive who helped transform the music industry when its business model was disrupted by technological change,” Lang said. “He also comes to us from Spotify, a company we respect tremendously, with a proven track record of serving digital consumer needs.”

Discovery is one of the biggest channel operators in the world, but has increasingly been seeking to go directly to fans of its channels and brands, and to supplement its linear offering with digital services. It has launched channels on the Amazon platform, invested in the Bamtech streaming technology business, and inked an OTT joint venture with German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.

Huang has a background in government administration. “Eugene brings exceptional tech leadership to our business, which will be incredibly valuable as we develop some significant OTT initiatives across Europe,” Lang said.

Trinidad is managing director of Discovery’s recently minted Digital Ventures Group, based in L.A. He will oversee the expansion of Discovery brands on digital platforms alongside his existing Northern Asia role. He was one of Google’s early hires and spent over a decade at the tech giant.

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