Ken Parks Leaves Spotify for Pluto TV

Ken Parks has left Spotify to become executive chairman of Pluto TV, an over-the-top service that delivers a curated lineup of more than 100 linear-style channels.

In addition to serving as chairman of the Pluto TV board, Parks will also head up Pluto TV’s content, distribution and monetization efforts along with other key business initiatives aimed at accelerating the convergence of the TV and online video industries.

Parks was chief content officer at digital music company Spotify, which recently expanded into short-form video and now has more than 20 million paid subs and 75 million total users. Parks, who joined Spotify in 2007, was its first U.S. employee and will remain a “special advisor” to Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek.

Parks, who has been serving as an advisor to Pluto TV since 2014, will be based in New York, where he’ll open an east coast office. Pluto TV is headquartered in Los Angeles.

“The addition of a world class executive like Ken Parks to Pluto TV is a transformative moment for our company,” Tom Ryan, co-founder and CEO of Pluto TV, 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.

“I believe Pluto TV has an enormous opportunity to define the future of television and online video,” Parks added. “As an advisor since 2014, I’ve had a front row seat to the rapid growth the company has achieved so far and I’m thrilled to join the team full-time. The timing is perfect for Pluto TV to reach massive global scale and become one of the premier consumer video platforms in the world.”

Pluto TV currently supports several platforms, including Web browsers, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Android TV devices, Google Chromecast and Apple TV (via AirPlay), and iOS and Android mobile devices.

Founded in 2013, Pluto TV landed a $13 million A round last November led by U.S. Venture Partners, with participation from United Talent Agency and existing investors Sky, Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Luminari Capital.