Kid-focused digital media company Pocket.watch — in its first international expansion — has tapped former Disney executive Danny Spronz to oversee business operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Spronz, based out of Pocket.watch’s new London office, serves as managing director EMEA, responsible for all business operations, advertising sales, consumer products licensing and content sales in the region. Before joining the company last month, Spronz was VP of digital partnerships and influencer marketing for EMEA at the Walt Disney Company.
Spronz reports to Pocket.watch chief revenue officer Stone Newman. The company was founded in 2017 by CEO Chris M. Williams, who is also a former exec with Disney’s online group and Maker Studios.
“The rate of demand for children’s programming from the biggest stars and creators loved by Generation Alpha across EMEA and other Western territories shows no signs of slowing down and Pocket.watch is uniquely positioned to fill this need,” Spronz commented.
Pocket.watch is a studio that creates franchises with YouTube stars and characters. It has partnership deals with creators including Ryan’s World, the most popular kids’ channels on YouTube.
Along with Spronz’s hiring, Pocket.watch announced a partnership with Etisalat, the largest telecom operator in the Middle East, to distribute the company’s slate of programming, including “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate,” “Ryan’s World” specials and “HobbyKids Adventures” on e-Junior, Etisalat’s top UAE kids TV channel. Pocket.watch plans to roll out new consumer products based on the shows in the territory in the second half of the year.
Pocket.watch also has signed Netherlands-based creator and his family Jason Vlogs to its talent roster. First launched in 2015, Jason Vlog’s YouTube channel has 9.4 million subscribers and 2.9 billion lifetime views. Pocket.watch plans to work with Jason Vlogs to develop an animated series to launch this year, with the rollout of consumer products, games and other offshoots to follow.
Investors in Culver City, Calif.-based Pocket.watch include Viacom, Greycroft, Third Wave Digital, UTA, Robert Downey Jr. (through Team Downey) and Jon Landau.