Spotify's Ken Parks Joins Pluto TV As Executive Chairman
August 5, 2015 at 11:03 AM (PT)
KEN PARKS, who was SPOTIFY's first U.S. employee and content chief, will join LOS ANGELES-based over-the-top video company PLUTO TV as executive chairman in OCTOBER, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
PARKS will help build out the fledgling company's media partnerships, leading its content, distribution and monetization efforts. PLUTO TV aggregates free video from across the web into a "lean-back" viewing experience similar to flipping on the television
"The addition of a world class executive like KEN PARKS to PLUTO TV is a transformative moment for our company," said CEO TOM RYAN. "His experience in building a successful global entertainment service will be invaluable to us as we capitalize on our strong momentum to rapidly grow PLUTO TV."
Parks, a longtime music lawyer, joined SPOTIFY in 2007, spearheading its negotiations with record labels over the licensing of content and also has led the company's U.S. operations. The NEW YORK TIMES reports that SPOTIFY Chief Strategy Officer STEFAN BLOM will replace PARKS.
PARKS joined the board of PLUTO TV as an advisor in 2014. He will remain based in NEW YORK and will open an EAST COAST office for the company.
"I believe PLUTO TV has an enormous opportunity to define the future of television and online video," said PARKS. "I've had a front row seat to the rapid growth the company has achieved so far, and I'm thrilled to join the team full-time."
PLUTO TV, which launched last year, has raised nearly $14 million in venture capital from investors including UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP. PLUTO TV's more than 100 channels include music videos, news, comedy and kids programming. Video producers such as BLOOMBERG TV, FUNNY OR DIE and AWESOMENESSTV have their own dedicated channels on the platform.