Former Google and YouTube executive Diana Baddar will bring two decades of industry experience to Rise Studios.
Rise Studios, an entertainment company driving investment in content from regional markets, has appointed Diana Baddar as Managing Director for Digital Content and Development to drive the company’s digital content strategy and business.
Baddar will build relationships with major platforms and identify regional talent, focusing on bridging the gap between long and short-form content.
Baddar brings two decades of industry experience to Rise Studios, having spent eight years at Google where she spearheaded the growth of YouTube in the MENA and Turkey markets. As the first Head of Women at Google in MENA, she worked closely with regional female content creators to build their channels on the platform. Some of her major accomplishments include relaunching Sesame Street in Arabic after a 20-year hiatus; launching YouTube Space Dubai, an official blog and portal for creators in MENA, and achieving a Guinness World Record for the most viewers of an Iftar Livestream on YouTube.
Prior to her work at Google, she directed the business development and affiliate channels at OSN, establishing new opportunities for OSN, Disney, Discovery and E! Entertainment. She also worked on the launch of OSN’s first VOD platform, OSN+.
Watan Network, one of the major multi-channel networks in the Arab world with over 5bn combined views monthly on YouTube, Facebook and Snap, is already part of the Rise Studios group with certified partnerships in place with YouTube, Daily Motion and Facebook. The network supports original content owners with monetising their content, protecting their copyrights and building business strategies. Baddar will propel the digital content strategy through Watan Network, in conjunction with the major platforms, by using her network of content creators to develop untapped regional stories. She will also lead talent identification for long and short-form content, bridging the gap between TV and digital platforms.
Commenting on the appointment, Amanda Turnbull, CEO of Rise Studios, said: “We are ecstatic about welcoming Diana onboard. She brings exceptional digital knowledge to the business with over 20 years’ of experience in our industry. She is perfectly positioned to drive our digital content strategy for the business, championing the rich talent we have in the region.”
Diana Baddar added: “It gives me great pleasure to be working alongside industry veterans with such a clear mission. To work closely with our community of creators to showcase their talent to the world, delivering a lean-forward entertainment experience for viewers.”