Firstlight Media names industry veteran Chris Drake new sales chief

Sept. 14, 2021
Verizon, Comcast Technology Solutions, Real Networks veteran Chris Drake named SVP, Global Head of Revenue at Firstlight Media.

Chris Drake, who has driven the adoption of innovative streaming technology for more than 20 years, will spearhead the industry’s latest shift to cloud-native platforms as the newly appointed Senior Vice President, Global Head of Revenue for Firstlight Media (Toronto).

Drake will lead Firstlight Media’s global sales efforts to help Tier 1 content providers and distributors deploy streaming and entertainment platforms built on the company’s Gen5 architecture.

Billed as delivering "best-in-class user experiences, engagement and monetization," the company contends its Gen5 architecture "enables rapid time-to-market for platforms that are scalable, extensible, agile and highly-performant, as well as future proofed to accommodate changes in technology or consumer demand."

“Chris Drake has been ahead of the streaming technology curve throughout his career,” commented Paul Pastor, Chief Business Officer and co-founder of Firstlight Media. “His deep and collaborative relationships with customers, his ability to build customer-centric sales teams, and his grasp of how best to wield Gen5’s massive potential all will benefit the industry by accelerating deployment of cloud-native platforms.”

Drake joins Firstlight Media from Verizon Media, where he has been global vice president, media and entertainment with responsibility for all aspects of the company's broadcast, media, sports and operator businesses. Previously, he had spent two years as vice president, business and corporate development with Telestream and 10 years with thePlatform and Comcast Technology Solutions, where he ultimately became vice president, business development and strategic sales. He began his sales career with streaming media pioneer Real Networks.

Firstlight Media is a specialist in cloud transformations of OTT and in-home experiences for pay-TV, telcos, and MVPDs. The company says it cloud-native platform leverages its "transformative Gen5 architecture for unparalleled performance in delivering premium video, handling complex use cases, and scaling to millions of viewers."

Firstlight Media’s Gen5 architecture is designed to build and run scalable applications in the cloud using cloud-native technologies, including containers, microservices, a service mesh, APIs, and immutable infrastructure. The company says its Gen5 technology stack "provides significantly better performance, a modular approach for feature expansion, continuous delivery for rapid iteration, and built-in scalability, observability and security."

"More dynamic, interactive, and personalized experiences coupled with the increasing role of data and the agility and power of the cloud are driving the next wave of growth and evolution of OTT," commented Drake. "With the accelerated pace at which the OTT industry is evolving and the need to quickly adapt to and embrace change, Firstlight Media is uniquely positioned to address these trends to help the media organizations capitalize on that future."

Firstlight Media is headquartered in Toronto and has additional locations in Los Angeles, San Diego and Chennai, India. For more information, visit

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