Former IAWTV Chair Paul Kontonis Joins Collective Digital Studio Exec Team
Paul Kontonis, former chairman of the International Academy of Web Television and long-time online video executive, has joined Collective Digital Studio as its new senior vice president of strategy and sales.
Collective Digital Studio, a multi-channel network that counts more than 590 channels and 91 million subscribers across its network, represents top YouTube talent like Freddie Wong, Dane Boedigheimer (creator of “The Annoying Orange”), Epic Meal Time, Hannah Hart, Olga Kay, and Rhett & Link.
With his new role as SVP of strategy and sales, Kontonis, who has experience working with big brands from his stints at DigitasLBi and Matter Entertainment, will look to connect CDS and its creators with new brand partners and sponsors.
Kontonis has a prior relationship with CDS. He worked with the MCN back in 2011 by introducing the FreddieW team to Samsung for the launch of the Galaxy S2. The resulting video, “Gamer Commute,” garnered more than 13 million views and was featured as part of YouTube’s 2013 Brandcast event.
When reached for comment, Kontonis said it wasn’t a “tough decision” to join CDS: “I am making a bet on a studio-model MCN with real talent relationships,” he said, adding: “I will be working closely with the brands and agencies to help refine and solve their original and co-creation content needs — a process that CDS creators and the talent management team will be an important part of.”
He will report to Michele Fino, SVP of sales and branded entertainment, and Alex Angeledes, chief revenue officer.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have one of the true pioneers in the digital video space in Paul Kontonis choose CDS to deploy his unique talents and relationships,” said Angeledes. “Paul’s unique perspective and deep understanding of the intersection of brands and content will no doubt be a major asset to CDS and our ever expanding list of brand partners. And, he’s Greek!”
Most recently, Kontonis served as the general manager of Magnet Media Originals, the original content development and production arm of Magnet Media. There, he executive produced series like “Soccer Academy” (which he also starred in) and other projects for brand and content partners like AP, MSN, the former Alloy Digital, and Puma.
Prior to that, Kontonis was VP and group director of brand content for The Third Act, a unit of digital ad agency DigitasLBi. There, Kontonis led the development of original and partnered content for various client teams. He and The Third Act also helped create the Digital Content Newfronts, a group of annual events for online video companies and creators to preview new content to Madison Avenue.
At Matter Entertainment, as SVP of branded content, Kontonis developed a web series with Armor All and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart called “Off the Track with Tony Stewart,” which was distributed by My Damn Channel.Tags: Collective Digital Studio, Digital Content Newfronts, digitaslbi, IAWTV, Magnet Media, Outrigger Media, paul kontonis, youtube