Monday, August 13, 2018

Viacom Int’l Taps Brendan Yam as VP and GM of Viacom Digital Studios International

To help lead its efforts in short-form digital content, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc., has appointed Viacom veteran Brendan Yam (pictured) to be its Vice President (VP) and General Manager (GM) of Viacom Digital Studios International (VDSI) — a new unit focused on creating, distributing and monetizing digital native content for Viacom’s flagship brands outside of the U.S., doubling down on Viacom’s new strategy.

The news follows Viacom gearing up its efforts to create short-form content for digital platforms based on intellectual property and characters from networks including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

Yam will manage new business development and commercial opportunities related to international short-form, including branded content and licensing deals, and content and platform partnerships. With three production hubs, the new unit will create original digital series, topicals, co-commissions and complementary shorts with a pipeline that includes VIMN, Viacom Digital Studios (VDS), Buenos Aires-based channel Telefe, and Brazilian YouTube channel Porta dos Fundos.

As head of Viacom Digital Studios International, Yam will report to Katherine Liu, Senior Vice President (SVP), strategy and business development for Viacom International Media Networks and Kelly Day, president of Viacom Digital Studios.

Previously, Yam, who has been wtih Viacom since 2005, served as Vice President, Multiplatform for MTV and Comedy Central International, and Head of Business Development for Digital. In his most recent role, he led efforts to develop a strategy to harness VIMN’s strengths into a robust business unit that encompasses short-form content production, distribution, publishing, and commercialization.

“Viacom has prioritized reaching digital-first audiences, and with over 3.1 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 180 countries and territories, our international youth audience is key to delivering on Viacom’s goals,” said David Lynn, President and CEO, VIMN. “I’m confident that with Brendan’s passion for and knowledge of the digital, mobile and social landscape he and his team will elevate our short-form business and drive engagement around the world.”

“Viacom Digital Studios International will be fully aligned with our U.S. business as we provide a compelling pipeline of content that can be localized and commercialized around the world,” said Day. “Like our flagship brands, we will maximize our international content pipeline as well, taking internationally originated content and making it available to our audiences in the U.S.”

Viacom Digital Studios unveiled its first digital slate including four digital originals for Nickelodeon’s YouTube channel, at the company’s first-ever NewFront presentation in April. The company also recently acquired digital media company Awesomeness to bolster its burgeoning digital portfolio.

Viacom Digital Studios has been a big part of Viacom’s growth recently, with total video views and watch time increasing 112% and 104% year-over-year for the latest quarter.

More Nick: Nickelodeon International Greenlights New Live Action Series 'The Covurts'!

Sources: VideoInk, Broadcasting & Cable, Realscreen, Kidscreen, TubeFilter.
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