YouTube has hired former Disney exec Luke Hyams (pictured) as its first-ever head of originals for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Prior to Disney, where Hyams served as director of global content, the industry veteran was head of content for PewDiePie’s now-extinct Revelmode. Prior to that, Hyams served as the international chief content officer for Maker Studios.
“I’m excited to join the YouTube family to help explore opportunities for EMEA creators around original content,” Hyams, who will be based in Google’s London offices, said in a statement.
His hire signals YouTube’s increased focus on ramping up its international programming efforts. Currently, YouTube’s SVOD service is available in the U.S., Mexico and a handful of other territories, but has yet to launch in the U.K.
“We’re in five markets and we’d like to launch in more, but it takes a bunch of time to get there, and we’d like to commission more content,” Matt Brittin, Google’s president, business operations, EMEA told Variety.
Recently, YouTube greenlit one of its first international ad-supported original series “Training Days,” an unscripted series from James Corden’s Fulwell 73 that centers on the top European soccer leagues. Additionally, the Google-owned company ordered “Origin,” a sci-fi original from Left Bank, the British production company behind “The Crown.”