Founding Hulu Executive David Baron becomes Scener’s new CEO
Industry pioneers J.J. Abrams, Sean Rad, and Marc Geiger join Scener’s advisory board
Veteran technology investor and entrepreneur Richard Wolpert joins as Executive Chairman
LOS ANGELES & SEATTLE, December 08, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scener, the social viewing platform for streaming entertainment, announced today the appointment of David Baron, a media industry veteran who most recently completed a 14-year run as a Hulu executive, as Chief Executive Officer.
Baron joins Scener amid a period of significant growth and the addition of a notable new team of investors and advisors, including J.J. Abrams (award-winning filmmaker), Sean Rad (Tinder founder and investor), and Marc Geiger (Founder of SaveLive, Lollapalooza co-founder, and former Head of Global Music for WME). Baron is also joined by veteran consumer entertainment startup executive and entrepreneur Richard Wolpert, who has come aboard as Executive Chairman.
"Scener has solved the puzzle of the social viewing experience for streaming services and is uniquely positioned for even more growth ahead," said David Baron, newly-appointed CEO at Scener. "The streaming industry is also at a dramatic inflection point," he added. "Consumers are now demanding both simplicity and social connection in their viewing experiences. Imagine having a service in the cloud that provides access to all of your streaming entertainment options, is natively social and portable across all devices, all without an additional hardware device or dongle – this is the future of social viewing and content discovery, and it is an incredibly exciting time to join the team."
"Of course, watching films and series while alone can be wonderful. But there is nothing more fun, memorable or moving than the communal viewing experience," said J.J. Abrams, award-winning filmmaker and member of Scener’s newly-formed strategic advisory board and investor group. "Scener allows viewers to connect on a deeper level with the stories they’re watching, with each other, and with the storytellers and creators they care about. I very much look forward to hosting a Scener watch party soon!"
Through 2021, millions of unique Scener users participated in over a billion minutes of social viewing across more than 7 million individual events on the platform. These synchronized video playback sessions also featured video and text chat supported by Agora.io’s leading real-time voice and video engagement technology.
Baron, who was instrumental in building Hulu’s content distribution businesses, including Hulu + LiveTV, will now lead Scener into its next growth phase to execute on its broader vision in becoming the premier platform consolidating social streaming experiences for creators and fans. During his 14-year leadership at Hulu, Baron managed thousands of content providers as well as the quality and reliability of Hulu’s systems and services. He brings 30 years of deep expertise pioneering new digital media strategies at Fox Digital Media, Paramount Digital Entertainment and Microsoft Corporation. He also has brought his vision and perspective to academia, continuing a 27 year tenure as an adjunct professor at USC, teaching graduate students about the impact of technology on the media industry.
Scener has become the leading social viewing experience for a valuable community of creators. Hollywood luminaries, directors, cast members, TikTok and Instagram creators, and major media entities, including HBO Max, Comic-Con@Home, Alamo Drafthouse and the former stars of Mystery Science Theater, have used Scener to host watch parties and engage their fans over shared passions of streaming entertainment. Earlier this year, Zach Snyder hosted a viewing party on the Scener platform for the debut of his highly-anticipated director's cut of ‘Justice League’, which attracted a real-time audience of 30,000 viewers.
Providing a seamless "social layer" on top of streaming TV shows and movies, Scener’s platform is service-agnostic which allows users to aggregate content providers together into a single, simple interface, while also protecting copyright. Scener’s free Google Chrome extension supports more than 10 streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, HBO Max and YouTube.
Daniel Strickland, Scener’s Founder and original CEO and CTO, will continue in his role as CTO of the company going forward.
"Scener pioneered social viewing for streaming services and their audiences," said Richard Wolpert, Scener’s new Executive Chairman. "Building off of the great work of Daniel Strickland and his team, I’m excited to be the new Executive Chairman and to work with David and such an amazing new group of investors and advisors including J.J. Abrams, Sean Rad, and Marc Geiger. Together they bring us the very, very best of video entertainment, mobile, and music connections and experience."
To learn more about Scener, head to www.scener.com.
Scener® is the leading social viewing platform for streaming services. Built to provide a "social layer" for streaming TV shows and movies, groups of viewers, large and small, can synchronize video playback alongside video and text chat. Scener launched in 2018 and before that was incubated by RealNetworks Inc. Scener is now headquartered in Los Angeles and maintains its office in Seattle, WA. To learn more or join the platform, visit www.scener.com.
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