Viacom is growing Digital Studios with two new hires focused on developing content for Nickelodeon’s YouTube and social channels.
Former Fullscreen Media exec Ashley Kaplan (pictured left) is stepping into the role SVP of Digital Studios for Nickelodeon. She will oversee the creative and editorial direction of digital content creation. Kaplan is also in charge of the development and production of original short-form content exclusively for Nick’s YouTube and social media platforms.
Before taking on this new position, Kaplan was the SVP of creative and production at Los Angeles-based Fullscreen, where she was in charge of development and production of new content. Prior to that, she served as the VP of digital content and strategy for LA-based prodco Magical Elves overseeing development, production and content partnerships. She is also not entirely new to the Viacom team, and previously worked at the media conglom’s Logo channel from 2006 to 2009 to launch its digital content department.
She’s joined by Luke Wahl, who has been named the VP for Digital Studios. In his new role, Wahl will work on the development and production of original short-form content exclusively for Nick’s linear, YouTube and social channels, with a focus on sports-themed content.
Prior to joining Viacom, he was the head of video at men’s lifestyle publication and content studio Gear Patrol. Throughout his career, Wahl helped launch Sport Illustrated’s OTT service and also held jobs as an EP for Yahoo! News and AwesomenessTV (now owned by Viacom).
Both Kaplan and Wahl started in July and are based out of Nickelodeon’s Burbank, California headquarters. Wahl reports to Kaplan, while Kaplan reports to Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins and the president of Viacom Digital Studios, Kelly Day.
Since VDS’ launch in 2018, Viacom brands’ social video views have grown by 83%, and watch time has increased by 119%, with a global average of four billion views and more than six billion minutes watched each month, according to Viacom. Its more recent slate, unveiled in April this year, focuses heavily on influencers like JoJo Siwa, Hayley LeBanc and Anthony Padilla.