Magazine article ADWEEK

Erin McPherson: Maker's New Chief Content Officer Discusses Tackling the Studio's 23 Digital Video Verticals

Magazine article ADWEEK

Erin McPherson: Maker's New Chief Content Officer Discusses Tackling the Studio's 23 Digital Video Verticals

Article excerpt

Specs

New gig Chief content officer, Maker Studios

Old gig Vp, head of video, Yahoo

Age 45

So what does the chief content officer at Maker do? I oversee our studios, so the content we produce in-house, but also our programming strategy vis-a-vis partners, our network partners and our network talent, as well as outside third-party relationships. I work a lot on our brands and with the advertising community on strategic initiatives and branded programming.

How have your past careers prepared you for Maker? Sometimes I don't like to admit it, but yes, I am a lawyer! In all seriousness, it's a great background for working in digital media because we are kind of operating without a clear road map. We are creating new deal structures and new ways of partnering every single day. At Yahoo, I was able to learn a tremendous amount at one of the biggest distributors on the Internet. It was an amazing background for teaching me almost everything, soup to nuts on how a global Web distributor works.

What trends are you noticing within the shows in development? We're seeing content that is inspiring, uplifting and comedic--but I'd overall describe it as positive and optimistic --really trending with the millennial audience. They're into celebrating life, creativity and expression as opposed to mean-spiritedness.

It was announced you would split up content into 23 different vertical brands. How are you organizing that? The real differentiator between what we do at Maker and traditional media is we've sourced these verticals out of existing audience demand. We've gone into our network of over 55,000 creators and looked at where audience is gathering. We're able to actually curate the best of and most relevant content around those existing passion points. …

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