YouTube has announced Alex Okosi will be taking on the role of managing director of emerging markets for YouTube in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Okosi will be responsible for running YouTube’s business and partnership teams across emerging markets in EMEA including Russia, the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa. He will report to the head of YouTube EMEA, Cécile Frot-Coutaz. Based in the London office, Okosi will start in April 2020.
“YouTube is a game-changing platform that plays an increasingly important role in our lives today through the dynamic content and innovation that it delivers,” Okosi said. “I am very excited to be joining Cecile’s leadership team to continue empowering creators and elevating value for viewers and partners across the region.”
Commenting on the hire, Frot-Coutaz, said Okosi brought a “wealth of experience in the content industries and has a track record for building businesses and audiences in established and new markets” and would “drive further expansion in these key markets.”
Google and YouTube have long invested in growing its business across its EMEA emerging markets. Some recent milestones include:
Most recently at the annual Google for Nigeria event in July 2019, YouTube announced its commitment to support emerging talent across Nigeria by teaming up with Mr. Eazi and the emPawa initiative to support 10 emerging Nigerian music artists to build their craft, increase their fanbase and connect with the world through YouTube.
Throughout the years, YouTube has played an essential role in the discovery and development of African sound, exporting African music to listeners worldwide — in fact 70% of the views from the 25 most watched Sub-Saharan African artists, come from outside the continent.
In September, YouTube successfully launched YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in MENA which further exemplifies the opportunities offered by this high-growth region.
Russia is one of YouTube EMEA’s highest growth markets with the number of YouTube channels with more than one million subscribers growing by more than 70% in the last year.
Okosi’s appointment will only further fuel the development of the creative ecosystem in the region.Prior to joining YouTube, Okosi served as a long-time TV executive. Most recently he was executive vice president and managing director of Viacom/CBS Networks Africa & BET International.