Complex Media Expands Video Team, Including Nathan Brown as GM (Q&A) - VideoInk
 
 

Complex Media Expands Video Team, Including Nathan Brown as GM (Q&A)

/ Dec 4, 2013

NATHAN HEADSHOT_1

Complex Media today is announcing several key new hires as the male/lifestyle publisher looks to expand its video efforts into 2014.

Nathan Brown, a long-time video development and production exec, joins Complex as its new general manager of Complex TV and Video. He will be responsible for the development, production, and distribution of all original and branded content for the company, and will have oversight of Complex’s video products, partnerships, and business development.

In addition to Brown, Complex is adding two more execs to its video team: Adam Soldinger as VP of programming, development, and distribution; and Justin Lundstrom as director of video production.

Soldinger comes to Complex from Intel, where he was head of programming and development of new channels for the company’s OnCue digital cable service (which might be axed and be sold to Verizon). Prior to that, he held senior roles at Crackle and William Morris. Lundstrom is a veteran commercial producer, having spent 10 years producing ads, features, and documentaries for brands like Nike, Porsche, NBC, and Google. Both Soldinger and Lundstrom will be responsible for Complex’s video team, which currently has 15 employees.

Here’s a Q&A we did with Nathan Brown on this, the day of his new executive announcement:

2013 has been a pretty big year for print publishers of all types to venture into made-for-web original video programming. Why do you think that is the case, and how do you see Complex fitting into this growing publisher-as-programmer ecosystem?

In addition to print, Complex has been hyper-focused on digital publishing for years. Between Complex.com and our media network, we will surpass 100 million uniques and 1 billion monthly page views in December. Our increased focus on video has been a natural evolution of that. There’s a huge audience already accumulated, so now I get to produce videos for this rabid community of dedicated consumers. Plus our 16-35 demo is precisely who watches video content online. It’s not like we’re trying to make Cat Fancy relevant to a new, digital-first generation…

How much of an investment is Complex making into original video?

Without getting into too many specifics, I can say that it’s significant. We recently closed a $25 million investment round from Iconix that will disproportionately contribute to Complex’s video strategy. I have a team of 15 now and am on a trajectory to surpass 75 by the end of 2014.

Walk us through the the development and production process. Which boxes does need to be checked to ensure that a particular show is a good fit for your brand and your audience?

Thanks to the success we’ve had with the magazine and digital, we have a lot of insight into the kinds of content our audience likes to consume, so there’s a mix between analytics and intuition. It also doesn’t hurt that our editors are the best in the game at perceiving zeitgeist, predicting changes, and in many cases, helping lead trends.

What is your current distribution strategy across the Complex Media Network? Right now your originals and other video content can be found via Complex TV, but where else are they seeded on the network? Do you look to populate video clips next to relevant articles and other pieces of content?

Complex TV is the hub where all video can be consumed. This includes Complex originals and news, videos from our publishers, and content that we acquire and license. Our network is in some ways like a very powerfully concentrated off-YouTube MCN. We distribute the videos we make to our publishers for organic embedding in their editorial and as relevant companion content. The inverse is also true — we’re actively co-funding and co-producing videos that are extremely germane to their unique audience that we then amplify at Complex.com.

Which external video platforms do you currently distribute to? Are you looking to expand distribution in 2014?

The biggest distribution move in 2014 is YouTube. It’s funny because all you read about is publishers looking for ways to migrate away from YouTube and we’re just the opposite. I have to hand it to my CEO, Rich Antoniello, for having the discipline and fortitude to go about it the hard way — build an audience on our own platform before YouTube. In addition to YouTube, we’ll have a handful of other strategic distribution partnerships in place in Q1. Fortunately for us, there’s a lot of hunger for the kind of content we make and for the demo that we target.

What do you and Complex have planned for 2014? Anything coming in the next few weeks?

2014 is all about smart and rapid growth. Leading the way is Complex News, which officially launched December 1. This is our investment in daily, topical video news programming. There is a void in the market for the kind of cultural news our audience really wants to consume. We’re finishing a TV production studio in our NY office by the end of the year and breaking ground in LA in January. The goal is to be the first, best, and many times the only video news source covering a range of topics important to our audience from music, sports, and fashion, to tech, entertainment, sneakers.

We have many new original series in development, too. So, in addition to quick snackable news, we’ll continue to program the kind of brand-defining longer-form content that deeply engages viewers and builds big audiences.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


NetFlix

Netflix Nabs Tina Fey’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy...

JessicaJones1_DD

Who Will Play Jessica Jones for Netflix and Marvel?

house_of_robots

CDS Sets Companion Series to James Patterson’s Next Novel...

YouTubeChristmas

5 Reasons Brands Should Use YouTube This Holiday Season

NewsToKnow

Friday 11.21.14: News to Know

Peabody Awards

Peabody Awards Want More Digital Submissions

aereo

Aereo Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

jukinmediafailarmy

Fox Orders Unscripted TV Series Based on Jukin Media’s...

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 3.28.02 PM

Dubai Media Launches Sports-Focused SVOD Service

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.13.26 PM

FIRST LOOK: Yahoo’s Basketball Comedy ‘Sin City...

Interstellar_02

Google and ‘Interstellar’ Want You to Take Part in...

cracklelogo

Crackle Will Be Home to Another Feature Film, ‘The...

AmazonBox

Amazon’s ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ to Debut in December

MaxandRuby

Kin Community to Manage Nelvana’s ‘Max &...

LastChanceKitchen

Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ Web Spinoff to Debut New Season

Hungergames_01

Why Lionsgate Embraced YouTube to Promote ‘The Hunger...

NewsToKnow

Thursday 11.20.14: News to Know

netflixyoutube

Netflix and YouTube Still Hog Bandwidth in North America

Pluto_02

Pluto TV Raises $13M to Continue Building TV-Like Video Service

YouTubeMusic

YouTube to Bring Back Music Awards in 2015 — with Some Changes

newfronts

IAB Unveils 2015 Newfronts Lineup, with Newcomers Fullscreen,...

Shared_Ads

5 Most-Shared Video Ads in 2014 Still Draw from World Cup

longmire_01

Netflix Saves Another TV Show, Orders Season 4 of...

WSW_17

Web Series Wednesday: What’s Really Going On

netflixyoutube

Content Exec Kelly Merryman Jumps from Netflix to YouTube

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.16.03 PM

WATCH THIS: Newsy Goes Interactive to Teach You About War & Money

FactoryMade

Japan’s Mitsui Puts Stake in Media Incubator FactoryMade

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 12.33.06 PM

Xiaomi Invests $300 Million in Video Platform iQiyi

Zoella1

Oxygen, Trium Developing Docu-Series About StyleHaul Vloggers

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 12.08.30 PM

‘Everything But the News’ Is Back on PBS Digital Studios

NewsToKnow

Wednesday 11.19.14: News to Know

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.52.38 AM

Alec Baldwin Gives Love Advice in New Above Average Series

Milk Video

Samsung Launches Milk Video, Another Mobile-Video Discovery Service

bill cosby netflix

Netflix ‘Postponing’ Bill Cosby Comedy Special

BroadbandTV TGN

BroadbandTV Opens Sales Office in New York

netflixTV

REPORT: Nielsen to Measure Netflix, Amazon Viewership

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 11.34.07 AM

WATCH THIS: Wale’s Famous Rant Against Complex Was Because...

NetflixAU

Netflix Is Heading Down Under in March

Kenneth_Tarpey

Former comScore CFO Takes on Same Role at Videology