Community fan-culture platform Fandom has hired Perkins Miller, a longtime digital-media and technology exec who most recently led StubHub’s Americas operations, as CEO.
He assumes the role at Fandom from interim CEO Andrew Doyle, director at TPG Capital. Miller will be based out of Fandom’s San Francisco headquarters beginning Feb. 11.
Fandom’s corporate name is Wikia Inc., the for-profit company founded by Wikimedia Foundation’s Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley Starling. Last year, the raised funding from private-equity firm TPG Capital and media and tech veteran Jon Miller, who serves as co-executive chairman with Wales. Other Wikia investors include Bessemer, Amazon, IVP and Digital Garage. Wikia received a $106 million round of funding in 2018, according to Crunchbase.
“I’ve spent my career trying to find a way to connect fans and content, and there’s really no better place to do that today than Fandom,” Perkins Miller told Variety. “I think there’s a runway for this business that’s massive over the next three to five years.”
Fandom, which launched as Wikia in 2004 before rebranding in 2016, claims to reach nearly 200 million unique visitors per month across more than 300,000 wiki entries spanning TV, movies and games, as well as original video.
Today, Fandom’s main source of revenue is advertising but Miller said he also sees opportunities to launch new subscription businesses and events: “Comic-Con has become an enormous destination for fans,” he said.
Perkins Miller previously was GM of StubHub’s Americas business, where he oversaw the ticket-seller’s $5 billion marketplace business in North America and Latin America. Before joining StubHub in 2016, he was the NFL’s chief digital officer and head of media operations for two years, responsible for all of the league’s media and technology platforms. Miller has held other senior management roles at media companies, including EVP of digital media for WWE, where he helped launched the WWE Network subscription service, as well as COO at Vocativ and COO at Universal Sports.
“Perkins brings a powerful mix of vision and market experience to Fandom, along with a strong track record of building compelling fan-centric experiences,” Jon Miller (who is not related to Perkins) said in a statement. “He has meaningfully scaled companies, launched innovative new revenue streams, and, most importantly, done so with a true spirit of collaborative leadership.”
Last month, Fandom completed its acquisition of Curse Media — operator of gaming-focused fan sites including Gamepedia and D&D Beyond — from Amazon-owned Twitch. Perkins Miller noted that D&D Beyond, for Dungeons & Dragons fans, operates two subscription tiers that strip out ads and provide enhanced features. Also, in the summer of 2018, Fandom bought digital video channel Screen Junkies, best known for its popular “Honest Trailers” spoof series, from now-defunct Defy Media.
Miller said he recognizes the need to “be respectful steward of [the Fandom] communities,” while developing new ways to monetize the site’s large user base.
Prior to being recruited for the CEO post, Miller said he was a “lightweight” user of Fandom, which he used mainly to resolve debates about Star Trek. “I happen to be a bit of a Star Trek nerd,” he said.