Studio71, one of the last companies standing from an era when YouTube multi-channel networks ruled the digital landscape, is making a leadership change.
The company, owned by German media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1 Media, has appointed Adam Boorstin and Matt Crowley as co-CEOs. They succeed co-founder and CEO Reza Izad, who is assuming the role of Studio71 chairman. The changes will go into effect on Nov. 1.
In a statement, Izad called the executive shuffle “a strategic next step” for the company, which has undergone significant changes since it first launched in 2011 to manage YouTube talent and sell advertising against their large online followings. In his new role, he will continue to work with ProSieben on strategic initiatives, while Boorstin and Crowley lead day-to-day operations at Studio71.
“Studio71 historically had been thought of a talent management company turned MCN and we’re really not that anymore and haven’t been for quite a bit of time,” says Crowley, who has served as chief revenue officer for Studio71 for the last three years.
Though Studio71 continues to operate an MCN that encompasses some of the most established names in digital media — including Tyler Oakley, Lily Singh and Hannah Hart — it has also expanded into the operation of over-the-top video brands and podcast production. In the last year, it has acquired more than 50 connected TV video apps, including auto focused Throttle and family-friendly Kid Gamer TV. Studio71’s podcast division has grown to more than 100 shows.
“Matt and I have really been focusing on adapting our business model for a more multiplatform landscape and multiplatform advertising market,” says Boorstin, who has been with Studio71 since 2015, most recently serving as chief operating officer. “On the other side, talent needs support. As they increase their production, we’re optimizing their content for every platform.”
Studio71 says its sales and partnership revenue has grown by at least double-digit percentages since Crowley arrived in 2017 and that Boorstin has helped the company more than double its off-YouTube revenue on an annual basis in recent years. Though Boorstin declines to provide further details about the company’s bottom line, he says revenue from sources other than YouTube is “becoming a significant core part of our business and our business model going forward.”
Studio71, formerly Collective Digital Studio, was founded out of Hollywood management firm The Collective by Izad, Michael Green, Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein during the early days of the YouTube talent boom. It grew its network to more than 900 channels before ProSiebenSat.1 acquired a controlling stake in the business in 2015. A year earlier, Maker Studios was sold to Disney in one of the largest MCN acquisitions. Studio71 is now a subsidiary of the conglomerate’s Red Arrow Studios group.