YouTube just poached an MTV exec to run its fledgling original content business.
Susanne Daniels served as MTV’s head of programming for 3 years, and will be taking the new position VP of Originals at YouTube.
The move furthers the video site’s gameplan of making shows that are TV-quality, but in a format and style that’s unique to digital video (no need to fill a half-hour or hour-long time slot, for example).
At MTV, Daniels led the launch of shows like “Finding Carter,” “Faking It,” “Are You The One?” and “Broke A$$US Game Show.”
Originals’ former head, Alex Carloss, said back in January that the company’s efforts to help top YouTubers develop and fund high-quality scripted, unscripted, family, and comedy shows would launch by the end of 2015.
Originals was only three months in at that point and this new, high-profile hire is on track with that time-line. Daniels, who has a background in creative development, programming, and production, comes on board after YouTube has already closed initial deals and put a development pipeline in place.
Carloss will now report to Daniels, and she will report to Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations.
Kyncl praised Daniels’ instincts for consistently creating pop culture hits, noting in a statement that her programming expertise will lead to “more ambitious” projects for YouTube.
The announcement comes not long after Google’s Q2 earnings, in which new stats about YouTube stood out as a bright spot.
Google said that YouTube “watch time” increased at its fastest growth rate in two years, with the average viewing session on mobile coming in at more than 40 minutes. Google chief business officer Omid Kordestani also said that more people than ever before are starting their YouTube experience on the site’s homepage, rather than through a specific video, “similar to the way they might turn on their TV.” This comment — along with this new hire for Originals — illustrate YouTube’s continued ambitions to steal ad dollars from big TV budgets.
MTV announced Daniels departure earlier on Wednesday, before YouTube made its hire known.
Variety first reported the news.