Danny Zappin

Social Media Week

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Danny Zappin is a digital entertainment pioneer revolutionizing the future of media. As President, CEO and Co-Founder of Zealot Networks, Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, Zappin is again paving the way for creative entrepreneurs to achieve success through multi-platform revenue, distribution and development opportunities.

Zappin established his illustrious career when he was CEO and Co-Founder of Maker Studios, the #1 multi-channel network, producing and distributing online videos. It’s here that he created one of the most exciting and noteworthy businesses in the digital content creation industry. With a strong background in entertainment working as a struggling actor, director, producer and filmmaker, Zappin took his career into his own hands in 2001, creating online videos for a burgeoning medium, the Internet. He wanted to be a part of this technological revolution in a big way so during this time he worked at an early online video streaming web site called Craptv.com, directing and producing short form web content. Four years later, Zappin discovered YouTube and he was instantly sold on the platform’s potential. He immediately began posting content and started several distribution channels, cementing his status as a true innovator in the space.

In 2009, Zappin, along with several other YouTube stars and production staff, formed Maker Studios, a first-of-its-kind digital studio whose goal was to service the needs of YouTube content creators. The multi-channel network was modeled after the legendary “United Artists” – a studio where content creators could develop original content and participate in its financial viability as owners. In a little over three years, Maker Studios had over 60,000 channels signed under the network, generating approximately 5 billion views monthly. In addition, Zappin became one of the leading experts on the platform and played an integral part in the direction of YouTube. This huge success led to Maker Studio’s acquisition by Disney in March 2014 for up to $950 million.

While leading Maker Studios, Zappin gained extensive leadership skills and knowledge in digital media including mergers and acquisitions, vertical strategy and building an internal team of 350 staff members. Last year, he led a team of investors to purchase NewMediaRockStars.com, a top Internet news web site covering the online video and new media industries. Most recently, Zappin formed Zealot to realize his greater vision of creating a company with an innovative business model that democratizes and advances the development, distribution and monetization of content, production and services. The combination of Zappin’s passion for digital media coupled with his vision set an unparalleled foundation for Zealot to lead the next movement in this evolving space. Zappin currently resides in Venice, Calif.

Joshua Cohen

Co-Founder, Tubefilter


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