Defy Media announced today that it’s building out its original content team with the hires of Christopher Willey as VP of development and Alex Lin as director of development. They will report to chief content officer Barry Blumberg.
A veteran of Paramount, Walden Media and MTV, Willey (pictured, left) was most recently head of development for Conde Nast Entertainment. Lin (pictured, below right) was manager of comedy development at NBC Entertainment, where he developed and produced scripted comedy programming, nine of which went to series.
“Chris and Alex are instrumental hires as we ramp up development and production to meet the increasing demand for our content as we expand our distribution with new partners in SVOD, OTT and other streaming platforms,” said Blumberg in a statement. “We fully expect them to play key roles as we build on the must-watch programming our company has become known for.”
Defy currently produces over 35 weekly series, 29 of which average over 500,000 views per episode, according to the company. With the proliferation of emerging platforms, such as Comcast’s Watchable and Verizon’s Go90, that number will be increasingly significantly.
For Go90, Defy is currently in production on three original series for its brands Clevver, Screen Junkies, and Made Man, set to launch in early 2016. It’s also in production on a new original Smosh YouTube series, set to debut early next year, and its development slate includes projects from comedians Trevor Moore (working title “America High Five”) and Theo Von (working title “Blind Dates”).
Defy recently announced a deal with WME to package its slate of original projects for television and other formats, and it’s currently working with RatPac Entertainment, the WME-repped prodco headed by Brett Ratner and James Packer, to develop several concepts.