The digital media company also has hired Jeremy Stein, who hails from Broken Road Productions, to its U.S. team as senior VP of scripted content to source and produce digital, film and TV projects.
Stafford (pictured above) will oversee all operations for Studio71 in the U.K. with a specific focus on millennial, lifestyle, parenting and kids’ verticals. He’s tasked with building partnerships with advertisers for branded content, as well as with U.K. broadcasters and platforms including Netflix and YouTube Red.
Most recently Stafford served as senior VP of Europe at StyleHaul, which he joined in 2014. Prior to that, he was YouTube’s head of branded content for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and served as an account director at ITV.
Studio71 global CEO Reza Izad commented, “As we continue to explore the full potential of social content and distribution, we’re focusing on key areas in the U.K. that will allow us to solve complex problems for both creators and brands, beyond just advertising and product placement. The addition of James, combined with the added capabilities of our new studio, allow Studio71 to accomplish these global growth goals.”
The U.K. expansion comes after Studio71, majority-owned by ProSiebenSat.1, earlier this year received strategic funding from French TV network TF1 Group and Italy’s Mediaset. Under those agreements, Studio71 established local operations in France and Italy.
Stein joins from Broken Road Productions, where he was executive producer of action-thriller “Into the Storm” and the upcoming “Isn’t It Romantic” starring Rebel Wilson. He also spearheaded the television arm of Broken Road, producing multiple projects including cooking competition show “Snack-Off” starring Chrissy Teigen for MTV.
Studio71’s headquarters are in Los Angeles with offices in Berlin, New York, Toronto and London. The company has partnerships with talent including Lilly Singh (a.k.a IISuperwomanII), Rhett & Link, Logan Paul, Shay Mitchell, Matthew Santoro, Flula Borg, Epic Meal Time, Roman Atwood, Family Fun Pack and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.