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June 25, 2024
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How OUTtv Is Changing the Streaming Landscape

The Vancouver-based streaming network's COO, Brad Danks, on telling "authentic stories" for the LGBTQ community.

After practicing entertainment law for several years, Brad Danks decided it was time for a career pivot. “I got tired of advising others and wanted to use my skills for a more focused and personal purpose,” he says. That’s when he made the leap to OUTtv, the Vancouver-based streaming network aimed at the LGBTQ community.

Joining OUTtv as COO, Danks grew the business in Canada, and since becoming CEO in 2016 he’s overseen its rapid expansion in the United States, Britain, Australia, South Africa and across Europe. He’s also beefed up OUTtv’s original programming, which now comprises two-thirds of its content. “We started ramping up around 2019, when streamers were holding on to their own shows,” he says. “We leaned into making series, documentaries and movies to make sure we have enough volume.”

Among OUTtv’s biggest original hits are the Canadian-produced competition show Sew Fierce and For the Love of DILFs, a dating reality show filmed in Miami, in which two groups of gay men compete for love. OUTtv recently commissioned its first South African unscripted series, The G-List, which follows influencers in Johannesburg’s vibrant queer scene.

Acquisitions also come from around the globe; OUTtv partners with producers in English-speaking countries such as Sweden and New Zealand.

“Our goal is to tell authentic stories, which is why we want the LGBTQ community to be on camera and also behind the scenes,” Danks says. To find new talent, OUTtv holds casting calls on Zoom for designers and costumers as well as contestants. “We’re always working for more ways to incorporate the LGBTQ perspective. Every show is a new opportunity.”

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, issue #8, 2024, under the title "Loud and Proud."

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