Korean hardware and content startup Titan Platform has hired former Endemol Shine and Lionsgate executive Adrian Sexton as its first U.S. CEO, tasked with heading the company’s North American expansion. As a first step, Titan Platform is set to announce its own streaming device next month.
Never heard of Titan Platform? You’re not alone — but the company nonetheless bets that it can break into the U.S. market with a combination of original hardware, content sales, virtual reality and a B2B component that will include display solutions for retailers and other businesses.
Sexton most recently served as the COO and Interim President of Endemol Shine Beyond US, where he launched the Icon digital network with YouTube star Michelle Phan. Some of his work before Endemol include a two-year stint as EVP Digital at Participant Media and close to seven years as VP and head of digital media at Lionsgate.
In an interview with Variety, Sexton said that he banks on Titan’s streaming device as a way to wow U.S. consumers. “The set-top box could be the trojan horse,” he said, adding that it will combine Internet of Things-like functionality with media streaming and artificial intelligence.
Titan will start selling the device in the U.S. in June, and plans to launch a VR headset stateside later this year. Sexton said that the company also plans to have a strong content foothold, initially likely offering Asian fare, as well as tech-centric videos.
Hardware, VR, content, tied together with a software platform: All of that sounds a lot like another Asian company trying to gain a foothold in the U.S. right now: China’s LeEco has been investing heavily to sell its TVs and phones to U.S. consumers, and then use the hardware as a hook for its own Amazon Prime-like subscription services.
However, Sexton said that Titan Platform isn’t interested in the subscription business. Instead, it aims to sell video titles via transactional VOD. Whether that’s really the right strategy to wow U.S. consumers remains to be seen, but Sexton hinted a few more major hires and announcements in the months to come.