Ken Parks (pictured), most recently chief content officer at streaming service Spotify, has joined Los Angeles-based online video aggregator Pluto TV as executive chairman.
Parks will serve as the company’s chairman of the board of directors while heading the digital service’s content, distribution and monetization efforts, along with other business initiatives aimed at merging TV and online video.
Having served as an adviser to Pluto TV since 2014, the exec will establish a New York office while also splitting his time with the company’s LA headquarters.
During his tenure at Spotify, Parks served as chief content officer where he was responsible for leading the global content and distribution operations for the Swedish commercial music streaming service. As MD of Spotify USA, Parks was instrumental in launching the company’s offerings to the American market in July 2011. He will remain a special advisor to Spotify’s founder and CEO Daniel Ek.
Pluto TV was founded in 2013 by CEO Tom Ryan and chief growth officer Ilya Pozin. The free Internet TV service offers more than 100 channels of content covering a raft of genres, including documentary, lifestyle, news, entertainment, education, sports and music.
UK pay-TV network BSkyB invested US$500,000 in the company last October. Other backers include USVP, United Talent Agency and Great Oaks Venture Capital, among others.
“The addition of a world-class executive like Ken Parks to Pluto TV is a transformative moment for our company,” Tom Ryan said in a statement. “Ken’s 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.”