As spotted by the Telegraph, Connolly – the former VP digital distribution and new product development at Disney, SVP head of partnerships and distribution at Hulu and, for a year, head of partnerships and advertising at big-budget flop Quibi – has updated his LinkedIn profile to include an unnamed role in Apple’s video business.
The exec is a well-established dealmaker in the industry, and was instrumental in engineering a deal between Hulu and Spotify to bundle the services together for US consumers. He also was a driving force behind the launch of Hulu’s cord-cutting live TV offer, and played a key role in bringing a number of big networks on board.
He was brought in at short-form streamer Quibi to play a similar role, but left nine months before the service launched and was not replaced.
It is believed that at Apple, Connolly will be tasked with bolstering the TV platform’s Channels proposition. The company already has deals in place with the likes of BritBox, but with Amazon and Roku increasingly making channels central to their video strategies, Apple will look to emulate their success.
Connolly’s hire is the latest in a recent spate of talent grabs from Apple. The iPhone maker poached Sony Pictures Television co-president Chris Parnell in July, and has also recently signed lucrative content deals with Idris Elba’s Green Door production company, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, and Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions.
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