Warner Bros. has announced the formation of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, a new division focused on building the Studio’s owned digital and OTT video services. Warner Bros. Digital Networks will be led by Craig Hunegs, who adds the title President, Warner Bros. Digital Networks to his current responsibilities as President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group. In both positions, Hunegs reports directly to Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Digital Networks will accelerate the company’s owned OTT activities, including DramaFever and Warner Archive Instant, an SVoD service offering classic Warner Bros. titles. It will also actively manage the company’s investments in the gamer network Machinima; in Uninterrupted, the partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter; and in Ellen Digital Ventures, a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres.
WBDN has the mandate to expand Warner Bros.’ OTT footprint by launching new offerings, growing current company-owned services and making strategic alliances. WBDN will also work closely with Time Warner divisions Turner and HBO as part of Time Warner’s overall strategy to reach audiences directly through currently owned OTT services as well as those to be launched in the future.
“In today’s on-demand world, OTT gives us a really effective means to directly provide consumers the programming they want,” said Tsujihara. “By forming Warner Bros. Digital Networks, we’ll be able to operate more nimbly as we continue to develop and deliver on our digital strategy which will complement our industry-leading distribution business.”
“Warner Bros. has a tremendous opportunity to have a more direct relationship with our audiences. We’re building a great team and we’re off to a strong start developing new streaming services. We’ll have more to announce in the coming months,” said Hunegs.
Warner Bros. is the largest producer and distributor of television series in the US (more than 70 current domestic series for the 2015-16 season) and is producing an increasingly significant number of local series in key countries around the world.