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

/ Dec 4, 2013

Nathan Brown_VideoInk_300x250

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: , , , , , , ,


George Woolley Portal A

Portal A Hires Former Maker Studios Exec George Woolley to Head...

 
dramafever

DramaFever and Korea’s CJ E&M Partner on Original...

 
CBS All Access

CBS All Access Adds (Almost) Commercial-Free Option

 
Stranger Things Netflix

‘Stranger Things’ to Return to Netflix for Season 2

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
Jessica Alba Some Kind of Beautiful

Jessica Alba Lands on Apple’s ‘Planet of the Apps’

 
MrWoofless Robert Latsky

Minecraft Gaming Star MrWoofless Joins Blackshore Multi-Channel...

 
The Young Turks TYT's Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola

The Young Turks’ Limited-Run Fusion Cable Show Announces...

 
YouTube Space LA Oval Office Set

YouTube Spaces Get Presidential with Creators on Election-Themed Sets

 
Twitter Amplify

How Twitter is Opening Up Video Monetization for Creators with...

 
Legends of Gaming Season 2 Endemol Shine Beyond

Mashable Grabs Exclusive Distribution for 5 Series from Beyond

 
yupptv

YuppTV Partners with Indian Humor Video Aggregator Comedy Munch

 
Yvonne-Strahovski-Chuck-promo-season-2-14

Hulu Adds Yvonne Strahovski (‘Dexter’) to...

 
Alison Brie Community

Allison Brie (‘Community’) to Wrestle for Netflix in...

 
Michael Phelps Facebook Live Rio Olympics

Michael Phelps Tops Facebook Live as It Pulls in 139 Million...

 
Stand Up to Cancer with YouTube Endemol Shine Group

Brits Stand Up To Cancer with Live-Streamed YouTube Campaign

 
How They Made Fight of the Living Dead Experiment 88

How They Made YouTube Red’s ‘Fight of the Living...

 
More people in the US use Smart TVs than last year

Cord-Stackers Get Most Satisfaction from SVOD Experience

 
BizWireTV Launches on Apple TV, iPhone and Android Devices

BizWireTV Streaming News Show Comes to Mobile

 
Now We're Talking LeBron James Uninterrupted Go90

First Look at Trailer for Go90 series ‘Now We’re...

 
American Gods Amazon Starz

Amazon Captures ‘American Gods’ for Prime Video in ...

 
Digital Domain World Surf League Tahiti

Digital Domain Goes 360 with World Surf League in Tahiti

 
Streamy Awards

Epic Rap Battles and ‘Oscar’s Hotel’ Top...

 
Dose

Dose Hires BuzzFeed and Elite Daily Execs to Build Out Video and...

 
Wong Fu Productions Single by 30 YouTube Red New Form Digital

How Wong Fu Productions Upped Their Game with YouTube...

 
DigitalCabana_Ep4Still

Streaming Businesses Are A Dime A Dozen, Will They Work?

 
DigitalCabana_Ep4Still

Why is Facebook Catching Push-Back from Premium Publishers?

 
SekineRisa_VideoInk_300x250

International MCN’s Are Still Standing —...

 
JW Player

JW Player’s New “JW Showcase” Further Enables...

 
YuYu_VideoInk_300x250

Digital Media Rights Announces Another Streaming Service — YuYu

 
netflix mobile

Majority of Netflix Subscribers to be Outside of U.S. by 2018

 
ComcastWatchable_Exclusives_VideoInk_300x250

Comcast’s Watchable Grabs Exclusive Titles from Cut, Buzzfeed

 
Rupert Grint Wild Target

Rupert Grint to Star in Crackle’s Series Adaptation of...

 
Vaughan Emsley Tongal

Why Vaughan Emsley Left an Old School Ad Giant for...

 
NextVR and FOX Sports to Broadcast Bundesliga Opening Match Live

NextVR Live Streaming Bundesliga German Soccer League Kick-off...

 
Netflix acquires three new indie flicks

Netflix Returning to Canada with ‘Anne of the Green...

 
AOL Alpha VR Virtual Reality

Does the Future of Virtual Reality Sit at Home and Wear a Headset?

 
Udi Jacobi_VideoInk_300x250

Ad Blocking: How Big is the Problem and What Can Publishers Do...

 
Damon Dash Dame Dash Studios Dame Dash TV

Hip Hop Entrepreneur Damon Dash Launches Dame Dash TV OTT Channel

 
Jake Paul

Vine Star Jake Paul to Headline DigiTour’s ‘Team 10...

 
Dr. Havoc's Diary Fullscreen

EXCLUSIVE CLIP: Fullscreen’s “Dr. Havoc’s...