Cineverse hires Terry City as SVP to lead newly launched ad platform

Cineverse on Thursday announced hiring industry veteran Terry City to lead new advertising initiatives, coinciding with the company’s launch of an omnichannel ad platform dubbed Cineverse360.

City was named SVP and head of Cineverse360 (C360). Prior to Cineverse, City was head of industry sales and partnerships at Tastemade, which counts multiple free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels. Prior to that he held ad sales and partnership roles at Tumblr, Group Nine Media, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Entertainment, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. City is also co-founder of production company Steel Titan, producer of the ESPN: 30 for 30 film, Playing for the Mob.

According to Cineverse, plans call for City to expand the advertising team significantly over the next quarter to offer expanded ad vertical coverage nationally.

One of City’s key areas of focus centers on the C360 platform, which was announced Thursday alongside his appointment.

Through C360, Cineverse promises brands the ability to connect with engaged, niche audiences across the independent publisher’s content channels. That includes custom marketing integrations on the Cineverse Podcast Network, display, social, in-person events, and connected TV advertising on Cinverse’s owned and operated FAST channels. From the get-go, C360 will reach 82 million monthly viewers on more than 1.2 billion devices across Cinverse’s owned and operated partners.

Tied to the platform, the company’s also launching the Cineverse 360 Audience Network (CAN), which aims to offer access to audiences of genres through hundreds of FAST channels across a network of Cineverse and third-party publishers. CAN is available starting next month. At launch there will be FAST channel inventory available on platforms including Philo, Plex, Samsung TV Plus, Vizio’s Watchfree+, Xumo and others.

Cineverse counts FAST channels and properties across genres like anime, horror, indie film and others.

Some specific channels available within the CAN network at launch include, AsianCrush, Cineverse, Crime Hunters, Docurama, Dove Channel, EntrepreneurTV, Fandor, Film Detective, For Us By Us, Lone Star, Midnight Pulp, Real Madrid TV, RetroCrush, SCREAMBOX, Sid and Marty Krofft Channel, So...Real, The Preview Channel, and The Bob Ross Channel, among others.

According to the announcement, the company’s sales and partnership teams are in active discussions “to expand the network significantly” during 2024.  

"With our unique ability to execute 360-degree programs for our clients, bring exclusive access to audiences of passionate fans across several popular genres – fans that are not available anywhere else – and offer brands the ability to get in early on a number of our new and soon-to-debut FAST channels we are positioned stronger than ever to take advantage of industry trends," said City in a statement.  "We have taken control of more inventory and put the resources behind brand partnerships to do creative, custom sponsorships, giving us the capacity to achieve significant growth."

In addition to hiring City, Cineverse also tapped Andrew Baritz and consulting firm Eventually A Castle, where he’s a principal, to oversee C360 ad operations and strategy. Baritz is charged with launching the CAN, where, in addition to overseeing ad operations and optimization of the overall business, he’ll focus on building new advertising products, audience targeting capabilities and data operations.

The new ad platform from Cineverse comes one day after the company announced the launch of an AI-powered conversational search and discovery tool, meant to help viewers more easily find TV and films to watch. Dubbed cineSearch, the platform comes with its own AI “video advisor” called “Ava.” Following a beta launch, it plans to license the platform to other OEM and third-party streaming service partners.