S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a six-part overview of the movers and shakers within the global online video space, divided by region. Today, part 3: Over-the-top professionals making waves in Eastern Europe. Part 1, covering Asia-Pacific, was published Aug. 16 and part 2, listing OTT professionals in western Europe, was made available Aug. 17.
This listing is based on independent research, recommendations and suggestions from S&P Global Market Intelligence analysts, as well as recent news coverage and press mentions. This list is by no means exhaustive. It represents our best, educated guesses based on market activities and our experience covering the industry.
Cyfrowy Polsat CEO Tobias Marcus Solorz
Tobias Marcus Solorz — CEO of Cyfrowy Polsat SA
Since Solorz was appointed CEO in 2015 Cyfrowy Polsat has made a number of over-the-top moves, including launching Cyfrowy Polsat GO, which provides online and on-demand access to linear channels and other content. Ipla, the company's OTT service that began service in 2008, led in subscription base, taking about 56% of online video service subscribers in Poland, according to SNL Kagan's recent data.
In addition, in 2016, SNL Kagan's estimates showed that Ipla garnered the highest paid subscriptions in the country in 2016, with 19% year-over-year growth. The company had an estimated 3.5 million monthly average users as of the first quarter.
Oleg Tumanov — founder and CEO of ivi.ru Media Ltd.
Tumanov founded the Russia-based OTT company in 2009, and it remained the leading subscription video-on-demand service in the country. Ivi.ru saw average revenue growth of 61% over the past six years. The company has locked in agreements with Time Warner Inc., British Broadcasting Corp., NBCUniversal Media LLC, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount and Sony Corp. With about 341,000 subscribers by 2016-end, the company has gross annual revenues of about 2.1 billion Russian rubles.
Maciej Maciejowski — board member and business development and new media division director at TVN SA
TVN board member Maciej Maciejowski
Maciejowski has been in charge of program content in the thematic channel and other content strategies in the company, including its OTT segment. The Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. unit's executive is also involved in integrating TVN Digital and Player.pl. The company's OTT service Player.pl has been the second-most-used service in Poland, according to SNL Kagan data.
Vladimir Borovik — CEO of Megogo.net
Borovik has been at the forefront of VOD initiatives at Megogo, which launched in Russia and Ukraine in late 2011. Some of Borovik's strategies include launching its own film distribution company, Megogo Distribution. A subscription-based service launched in 2013 reached 237,000 users and has made the streaming platform one of the top VOD players in eastern Europe, according to SNL Kagan. As of late 2016, about 40% of Megogo's revenue comes from paid products and about 60% from advertising.
Reed Hastings — CEO of Netflix Inc.
Netflix launched in more than 130 countries in January 2016, including Russia and Poland. The company plans to adding Romanian-language services to its European offerings later this year. Across Europe, the streaming giant has invested more than $1.75 billion in licensed programming, original content and co-productions. The company is looking for a director of partner marketing and a brand partner marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
Antony Root — executive vice president of original programming and production at HBO Europe
Root led initiatives in eastern Europe such as commissioning original Polish content. Budapest-based Root is in charge of local original content for 15 markets in Europe.
Jay Marine — Prime Video vice president for Europe at Amazon.com Inc.
Marine recognized the company's need to "provide something different" in terms of original programming. Amazon Prime Video rolled out in Eastern Europe in December 2016 as part of the company's expansion into 200 countries.
Mikhail Demin — general director of NTV-Plus
Demin's goal is to offer a wide selection of high-quality content. At the end of last year, the company teamed up with ivi.ru to provide the latter's content into NTV-Plus' hybrid OTT set-top box. The company also launched its SVOD service NTV-Plus Kino, offering more than 180 locally produced series.
Sanja Bozic-Ljubicic — CEO at Pickbox
Bozic-Ljubicic's leadership brought Croatia-based Pickbox to Slovenia's Telekom Slovenije d d, Macedonian Telekom's IPTV platform MaxTV, Serbian operator Telekom Srbija ad Beograd and Deutsche Telekom AG unit Crnogorski Telekom in Montenegro.
Andrey Kholodny — deputy general director for development of nonlinear services at Tricolor TV
Kholodny's role includes developing OTT services, and the Russian company joined the OTT space in November 2016 with the launch of Kino Tricolor TV.
Ivan Grodetsky — CEO of Okko
Okko launched in 2011 under the name Play. After reaching revenues of about 775 million Russian rubles in 2016, Grodetsky announced plans to bolster its programming content in 2017. Okko has about 5,000 movies in HD, 3D and 4K, runs several TV channels on its platform and has about 200,000 subscribers, according to SNL Kagn data.
Dan Goman — founder and CEO of OwnZones Media Network Inc.
OwnZones founder Dan Goman
Under Goman's lead, the company struck content agreements with E.W. Scripps Co., Amazon.com Inc. and Antena TV Romania. His most recent initiatives include the launch of the OWNZONES Romanian Portfolio app, which allows users outside Romania to stream 22 local TV channels.
Andrey Kolodyuk — founder of Divan.TV
In early 2015, Divan became available globally online and through its Android and iOS mobile apps. A year later, the company expanded its reach further by making its platform available on smart TVs by Philips, Samsung and LG.
Simon Slonjšak — head of smart living at Telekom Slovenije
Slonjšak moved up the ranks from being an IPTV product manager to the head of smart living. Slonjšak oversees the the operator's triple-play offerings.
Dimitar Radev — head of content distribution and new platforms at NOVA TV
Radev formulated strategies to distribute the company's pay channel portfolio to different media companies. During the 2016 second half, the company garnered about 30,000 regular paying users for its live sports OTT platform Gong.ng and about 500,000 monthly users for its catchup service Nova Play.