Estrella Media Elevates René Santaella To Chief Digital And Streaming Officer
Estrella Media, a Spanish-language media company that serves a diverse multiplatform Latino audience in the U.S., has promoted René Santaella to chief digital and streaming officer. He was EVP, digital & streaming media, and helped launch the company’s streaming and AVOD platforms.
“Since joining our team, René has been hyper-focused on creating and building a dominant streaming and on-demand digital content business,” said Peter Markham, Estrella Media CEO. “In less than two years, we have grown into a market leader, hitting over 1 billion streaming minutes viewed across our platforms. We are a leader in FAST and streaming audio for Spanish-language content and a compelling content option for audiences in the U.S. and around the world. We are re-imagining the Spanish-language digital landscape, and René is an important part of the company’s continued growth and transformation.”
Santaella said: “I’m truly excited to continue to drive digital growth and innovation in the Spanish-language marketplace and build free ad-supported streaming content options for our Estrella Media audiences. It is an audience that demands more attention and investment from the advertising and entertainment industries and to be able to lead this effort during such a transformative time is inspiring. From news to digital-first series to streaming live video and audio, we are just scratching the surface of how our audience is entertained and informed.”
Since joining the company in October 2020, Santaella has led the launch of Estrella Media content across FAST, AVOD, social and audio platforms, built out a new digital organization, and become an active member of the IAB. Under his guidance, the company launched the EstrellaTV App in 2021, available on Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, iOS, Android mobile, Samsung and Vizio, and introduced four FAST channels, including EstrellaTV, Estrella News, Estrella Games, and the newly announced Cine EstrellaTV.
He has negotiated partner agreements with The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Vizio WatchFree, Xumo, Xfinity Flex, PlutoTV, Amazon News, Tubi, and FuboTV. This past year radio listeners made Estrella Media a top 20 leader in streaming audio with stations like Que Buena Los Angeles, QB Underground, La Raza, and El Norte — all available on TuneIn, the EstrellaTV app and EstrellaTV.com.
Before joining Estrella Media, Santaella was the senior vice president, head of ad sales and business operations at Sony Pictures Television Digital Networks and built Crackle into a leading free ad-supported streaming network with the Emmy nominated hit, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
He also led the creation of a premium video network for advertisers targeting a large audience of “connected gamers” that included PlayStation, Funimation, Pluto TV and Crackle.
Before Sony, he was director, ad sales marketing for Disney Interactive, leading digital and cross-platform advertising and integrated marketing solutions across the company with corporate alliance partners.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA.