Expanding its global reach, LA-based prodco Pocket.watch has opened its first international office. The company tapped former Disney VP Danny Spronz (pictured) to lead the new London-based office as managing director for EMEA.
Spronz started in the role this month and is responsible for all business operations, advertising sales, consumer products licensing and content sales in the region. Before joining Pocket.watch he worked as the VP of digital partnerships and influencer marketing for Walt Disney EMEA. He held that role for three years, and in that time he managed overall talent strategy, partnerships and management for the company’s on-screen and digital influencer talent.
Previously, he worked at the House of Mouse as its VP of international for Maker Studios, in charge of strategic partnerships and network, where his remit was to grow and manage the company’s network business across all international markets. Prior to his time at Disney, Spronz founded the digital content producer dot.talent in 2010, with the goal of building and monetizing the digital ecosystem around celebrity talent.
Pocket.watch has been busy growing across segments in the past year, including launching its first audio series, The Claw, in November. It also expanded the popular Ryan’s World YouTube channel (23.9 million subscribers). Last year the company launched a range of CP for the brand, including blind bag collectibles, slime, vehicles, plush and putty. Pocket.watch also brought Ryan’s World to linear TV with the launch of the live-action series Ryan’s Mystery Playdate on Nickelodeon, which was picked up for a second season shortly after its premiere.
Beyond UK growth, Pocket.watch is partnering with Middle East telecom operator Etisalat to bring the prodco’s programming—including Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, HobbyKids Adventures and Ryan’s World specials—to UAE kids TV channel e-junior, which is available as an SVOD service and pay-TV channel. Pocket.watch plans to roll out new consumer products from its Ryan’s World and HobbyKids franchises in the region later this year.
The studio is also growing its slate of creator partners, inking a deal with Netherlands-based digital influencer Jason Vlogs (9.3 million YouTube subscribers) to turn the popular digital star into a franchise with an animated series set to bow this year. The YouTube channel features vlog-style videos of a family and their adventures together. and since launching in 2015 it has reached more than two billion lifetime views. Following its franchise model, Pocket.watch will also expand the channel with consumer products and games following the launch of the animated series.