Friday Afternoon Keynote: Will Keenan, Endemol Beyond, President
Will Keenan was named President of Endemol Beyond USA, the digital division of Endemol Shine North America, in November 2013.
Keenan oversees Endemol Beyond USA’s Premium Content Network (PCN), a leading provider of premium content available across more than 20 platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Roku, TiVo, DailyMotion and Amazon Fire TV. Within its first year, Endemol Beyond USA established itself as the most-nominated digital network at the 2014 Streamy Awards and also won eight 2015 AVA Digital Awards.
Keenan recently oversaw the launch of ICON, the first worldwide premium lifestyle network. ICON, which is led creatively by digital pioneer and entrepreneur Michelle Phan, launched simultaneously in the U.S. and UK in March 2015. ICON is the new global destination for the empowerment of viewers through inspiration, premium lifestyle content and conversation.
Since joining Endemol Beyond USA, Keenan and his team have partnered with superstars such as Pitbull and Michelle Phan, Vine queen Brittany Furlan, YouTube’s musical prince MattyB, celebrity comedian Andy Milonakis and Emmy Award-winner Drea de Matteo, among others., Keenan has also overseen the online launch of numerous vertical networks and original show formats in comedy, music, originals, reality and lifestyle genres.
Keenan’s executive career in digital began in September 2011 at Maker Studios, where he served as Vice President, Vertical Development & Network Programming. When Keenan began at Maker Studios, the now Disney-owned MCN had 300 channels with more than 300 million monthly views and when he left for Endemol Beyond, Maker had scaled to more than 50,000 channels with five billion monthly views.
During his Maker Studios tenure, Keenan signed, launched and/or partnered with some of YouTube’s top channels such as BadLipReading and he also led Maker to become the first multi-channel network to partner with traditional celebrities including Kevin Smith, Adrian Grenier, Margaret Cho and “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer/director James Gunn. Keenan developed, launched, provided vertical optimization and original content programming development for four Maker Studios vertical network genres (beauty, moms, news and animation), and established Maker’s social presence by leading the company’s initial network-wide social strategy.
Prior to Keenan’s executive roles at Endemol Beyond USA and Maker, he is credited for leading roles in Love God, the first digital feature transferred to 35mm, as well as sci-fi musical The Ghastly Love of Johnny X, the last feature to be filmed on Kodak’s 35mm black-and-white Plus-X film stock. Keenan has been involved with more than 45 independent film productions, both in-front of and behind-the-camera. He’s served as the star, producer, director, writer, financier and stuntman across his independent film career.
Keenan currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Getty Images Senior Contributing Photographer Stefanie Keenan, along with their five rescued cats.