Mark Britt to leave Mi9 and will be replaced by Ratecity CEO Alex Parsons

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 4.09.38 PMMark Britt CEO of Nine Entertainment’s digital division Mi9 is to depart after three years in the role, Mumbrella can reveal.

Britt has accepted a role with Patrick Grove’s Kuala Lumpur-based Catcha Group, leading their video streaming service across ASEAN, and will be replaced by Ratecity CEO Alex Parsons.

“I have had a fantastic three years leading Mi9/Ninemsn,” Britt told Mumbrella.

“The business has come through huge change, moving from being a successful joint venture to a fully integrated part of Nine Entertainment Co. with a really bright future on the horizon. I’ve been presented with a rare opportunity to start a new business, that only comes along once in a lifetime.”

Staff at Mi9 are being told this morning about the move that will see Britt move to an “advisory role” with the business from September.

Parsons is a former managing director of Ninemsn’s audience team as managing director where he ran the company’s content, creative, marketing and product teams across Ninemsn, Bing, and Windows Live. Since 2013 he has been CEO of consumer financial comparison website Ratecity, in which Mi9 has a stake.

“Having worked with Nine Entertainment Co. for a number of years, most recently running their RateCity joint venture, I am very excited about taking Nine’s broader digital media assets into the future,” said Parsons.

Mumbrella understands that Britt has been taking meetings with studios and investment banks in Los Angeles and Sydney in recent weeks as Catcha lays the groundwork for an Asian SVOD business and that will join its other online assets, which include e-commerce websites namely iCar, iProperty and iBuy.

“Southeast Asia offers tremendous potential for growth with its rapidly and continually emerging middle class, strong economies and high internet and smartphone penetration,” said Groves, an Australian businessman, who last year was 12th on the BRW young rich list with a net worth of $95m.

“We look forward to working with Mark to change the game for consumers across the region.”

Nine is preparing to launch its own subscription video on demand service (SVOD) in Australia called StreamCo, however it is understood that there is no overlap as Catcha’s SVOD business is focused on the emerging markets of Southeast Asia.

Nine CEO David Gyngell thanked Britt for his contribution to the business.

“Mark is well regarded as one of the pre-eminent thought leaders in the digital space, so I am pleased that we have been able to retain his insights and guidance into the future.” said Gyngell.

“I would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Under Britt the digital venture has been through a major rebranding, the launch of a partnership with the Daily Mail and also the buyout of 50 per cent partner Microsoft from the joint venture by Nine. Under Britt Mi9 also led the push within the industry for programmatic buying of digital advertising, this included Mi9 leading the push for the ill fated premium publishers exchange.

Since 2012 Britt has also been chair of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) where he helped lead a revival in the industry body and is also a director of media/marketing industry charity UN Ltd which had significantly raised its profile in the last two years.

Nic Christensen 


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