Warner Bros is the latest independent studio to signal a push in the OTT arena with the formation of Warner Bros Digital Networks, a new division focused on building the studio’s owned digital and OTT video services. The unit will be led by Craig Hunegs, who adds the title of President of Warner Bros Digital Networks to his current responsibilities as President of Business and Strategy at Warner Bros. Television Group. In both positions, Hunegs reports directly to Warner Bros Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
Warner Bros Digital Networks will grow the company’s current owned OTT operations, including DramaFever and Warner Archive Instant, an SVOD service offering classic Warner Bros titles. It also will 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 also has the mandate to expand Warner Bros’ OTT footprint by launching new offerings, growing current company-owned services and making strategic alliances. WBDN also will work closely with Time Warner divisions Turner and HBO as part of TW’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,” Tsujihara said. “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.”