Channel 4 streaming exec Samanidis to head BBC iPlayer

Kerensa Samanidis

Kerensa Samanidis

The BBC has hired Channel 4 exec Kerensa Samanidis as general manager for BBC iPlayer.

Samanidis will take up her post on June 19, reporting to Dan McGolpin, director of BBC iPlayer and channels.

She will be responsible for the delivery of the BBC iPlayer growth strategy and management of the overall iPlayer operation.

The BBC said that the growth and development of iPlayer is fundamental to the future of the pubcaster. The streaming service broke a record seven billion programme streams last year. This year, BBC iPlayer is growing its offering, with more box-sets of returning and classic shows alongside its new programming spanning all genres.

Samanidis’ career within the video streaming space began in the early 2000s at Sony where she developed PlayStation’s first video on demand strategy for the PlayStation 2.

She subsequently held leadership roles at the BFI, WarnerMedia and AMC Networks where she launched and managed a range of international streaming services. She also ran a successful consulting business with clients including BritBox International, BBC and Channel 4.

For the last year, Samanidis has been working for Channel 4 to develop and implement its international streaming business.

Her career also spans a range of strategy, product and business development roles at Hearst, HMV, and Turner Broadcasting.

McGolpin said: “I’m delighted to welcome Kerensa to the BBC, her fantastic experience working across a wide range of video streaming businesses and her relentless focus on audience growth is going to help galvanise teams right across the organisation as we all work together to propel BBC iPlayer to the next level.”

Samanidis said: “The BBC and its iconic iPlayer streaming service have consistently led innovation in the industry, so it is a great honour to be brought in to continue this work and drive further progress with the service. I am looking forward to working with Dan and the talented teams at the BBC at such an important time in its digital future.”

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