Hulu’s Jim Keller joins Discovery to lead digital ad sales team
Marketing veteran Jim Keller has been tapped by Discovery, Inc. to be its executive VP, digital ad sales and advanced advertising, joining ahead of the company’s planned launch of its new Discovery+ streaming service in early 2021.
Keller, who for the past seven years has worked at Hulu—most recently as the streaming platform’s VP, head of national advertising sales—brings a wealth of knowledge about the VOD space to Discovery, which will be the latest in a long series of traditional TV networks to enter the “streaming wars.”
“Jim is one of the most experienced advanced advertising sales leaders in the business, and he joins Discovery at a critical time, as we launch Discovery+ in January and begin scaling our direct-to-consumer advertising opportunities,” says Jon Steinlauf, Discovery’s Chief U.S. Ad Sales Officer.
In his new role as head of the company’s digital ad sales team, Keller will be tasked with driving Discovery+’s digital revenue efforts, as well as the company’s streaming TV Everywhere GO apps, VOD, owned sites, programmatic and social.
He will also be responsible for overseeing the development and monetization of all advanced and data-driven digital products across Discovery’s portfolio of linear and digital properties, with the hope of expanding its “high-quality” female- and family-centric audience, the company has said.
“I am thrilled to be joining a great management team that is methodically preparing to bring to market a world-class product with a ton of opportunities for advertising partners,” says Keller, who has been in the ad game since the early 1990s.
Range of sponsors
“Discovery’s quality programming across verticals, combined with top talent and valuable brands, offer a marketing space that is one of the broadest and safest in digital video, which will soon be expanded with the launch of Discovery+,” he adds.
Slated to debut on Jan. 4, Discovery+ has already secured major launch sponsors including Boston Beer Company, Kraft Heinz, Lowe’s and Toyota. Initially, it will offer both an “Ad Lite” subscription for $4.99 per month and an ad-free version for $6.99 per month, as well as being free for one year for Verizon customers, Discovery announced last week.
The new streaming service will include shows from across the cable giant’s portfolio, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC and Animal Planet, as well as original content exclusively for Discovery+, Ad Age’s Mike Juang reports.
It will also include non-fiction content from A+E Networks’ channels including Lifetime, A&E and History, as well as early access to content from Magnolia, the new cable network from HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines.