BACKGROUND: Over 14 years, Sean Cohan has helped orchestrate A+E Networks’ growth across the globe and online and, in many instances, the two have been intertwined. In Europe, A+E launched its first linear cable network on a mobile phone carrier; it selected Germany for its debut VOD product. The company launched texting products in Europe to meet the growing popularity of SMS there. Before A+E, Cohan worked at Primedia, NBC and Morgan Stanley. Under Cohan’s watch, A+E’s international portfolio has grown to 58 channels. He leads A+E’s digital efforts in the U.S. and abroad, including the company’s new digital production studio, 45th & Dean.
2017 HIGHLIGHTS: To help diversify program offerings and distribution outlets, in 2017 A+E launched two direct-to-consumer and SVOD apps, History Vault and Lifetime Movie Club. Both offerings are steadily gaining users. “These are a great for us to interact with the consumer and learn and get a little more data,” he says. A+E also launched two new channels in Korea and acquired a stake in IHQ, a Korean media and talent company. Embracing video on social channels, A+E created two original content series, Bae or Bail and Second Chance, for Facebook Watch and Snapchat Discover.
WHAT’S AHEAD: As more consumers stream video on OTT, mobile and social media, A+E will ramp up digital video to meet demand. That includes more content for Facebook and Snapchat, as well as YouTube and SVOD services. Cohan especially sees opportunities for History’s brand on digital, building on its “very strong brand in pay TV with a lot of buzz and equity.” As news events occur, History can launch video and text content on its websites and apps to provide background and context. “History can be a trusted source of information in overactive news cycle,” he says.
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