Amazon’s Twitch livestreaming service hired Laura Lee, a veteran media exec who has worked at YouTube, NBCUniversal and Viacom, as chief content officer.
Lee takes over the role from Mike Aragon, Twitch’s former chief content officer, who left the company in January 2022 to join Lululemon as CEO of Mirror and Lululemon’s Digital Fitness line.
As Twitch’s chief content officer, Lee is tasked with establishing the strategic content vision for the site and will lead the company’s global teams focused on streamer partnerships and development, content strategy, programming and operations.
Lee will report to Twitch president Dan Clancy. She steps into the role a little over a month after Twitch announced a controversial change to its creator payout program: Starting June 1, 2023, top streamers will receive 70% of revenue up to $100,000 they earn — and then will drop down to the standard 50-50 split. In explaining the change, Clancy wrote that “we don’t believe it’s right for those on standard contracts to have varied revenue shares based on the size of the streamer.” The “vast majority” of Twitch creators, which number nearly 8 million each month, are on the standard 50-50 deal, according to Clancy.
The same day Twitch announced the planned creator-payment change, senior VP of global creators Constance Knight resigned from her post, saying she was leaving for a “new adventure that provides exciting growth opportunities for me both professionally and personally” in the creator space.
Clancy, commenting on Lee’s hiring, said, “Twitch streamers are some of the most creative and passionate content creators in the world, and our priority is to enable them to build vibrant communities on our service, doing what they love. We’re thrilled to welcome Laura to our team to define our content strategy and believe that her expertise across digital and premium content will bring fresh perspective to enable us to usher in the next chapter for our global community.”
Lee most recently has worked as an adviser for companies including Patreon and McKinsey & Co. in recent years. In 2017, she briefly served as EVP of content, strategy and operations at NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, after a stint as president and chief digital officer of Margaritaville Media, Jimmy Buffett’s lifestyle brand.
She worked at YouTube for eight years, most recently as global head of top creators at YouTube, where she oversaw North American content. Prior to joining YouTube in 2007 — one year after Google’s acquisition — Lee had served in various business development, production and development roles at MTV, VH1, Spike TV and Time Warner. Lee began her career as a media investment banker at JP Morgan.
In a statement, Lee said, “The Twitch community is unparalleled in its creativity and talent, and Twitch streamers have set the bar for live entertainment and building deep bonds with their communities. I couldn’t be more excited to join the team to partner with Twitch’s incredible streamers and the entire content organization to set content strategy and create new opportunities for streamers to thrive.” Variety