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Sony Pictures Digital Drivers 2012

David Bishop, president, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

For all of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s digital initiatives, Bishop acts as a hub between a number of Sony divisions and key industry organizations. With the goal of advancing digital content distribution, Bishop coordinates with a number of Sony divisions and industry groups, including Sony Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the Blu-ray Disc Association, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Digital & Commercial, Sony Pictures Entertainment, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, Sony Network Entertainment of America, Sony DADC New Media Solutions and Sony Mobile Communications.

Bishop has assembled a team that has its hand on the pulse of the latest trends in digital entertainment. They are creating innovative and aggressive digital programs and sales strategies that have placed SPHE at the forefront of the digital space. These programs include the launch of UltraViolet, early electronic sellthrough and premium VOD and transforming the Blu-ray format into a bridge to the digital ecosystem. His sales and marketing directives have raised the commercial digital performance of the company, and he has taken public stances on digital programs and the need not to fear the future but to include tech innovations as an integral part of a healthy business future.

Mitch Singer, chief digital strategy officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Singer pulls double duty, holding key positions at both Sony Pictures Technologies and at DECE, the cross-industry consortium behind UltraViolet, where he is president.

As chief digital strategy officer for SPE, Singer works with Sony Pictures’ various business units on studiowide strategies to address the ongoing digital transformation of the entertainment industry. He represents SPE in industry forums and works to identify digital business opportunities; explore new products, formats and services; and mitigate digital theft. 

Singer plays a central role in Sony Pictures’ worldwide anti-digital theft and digital rights management efforts, and has been the lead negotiator for Sony Pictures in content protection technology licensing issues.

Serving as president of DECE is just the start of Singer’s industrywide activities. He also sits on the boards of MovieLab, DVD CCA, the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California, the HDBaseT Alliance and the steering committee of the High Quality Mobile Experience.

Chris Cookson, president, Sony Pictures Technologies

Cookson sets technology standards for Sony Pictures’ development and distribution of entertainment. Responsible for all the studio’s technology policies and processes, he also serves as the studio’s liaison with other Sony Corp. technology businesses. He is the chief officer of the 3D Technology Center on the studio lot.

Lexine Wong, senior EVP, worldwide marketing, SPHE

Selling digital formats in an ever-changing marketplace requires speed to market, in-depth knowledge of consumer preferences and innovative marketing strategies. Wong and her team’s years of experience persuading and inspiring consumers to purchase physical goods are also now employed in creating digitally savvy marketing campaigns intended to capture the digital consumer. Efforts include creating a balanced marketing portfolio to drive physical sales as well as advancing digital formats, including UltraViolet, electronic sellthrough and VOD. Informed by consumer insights, the team continues to expand efforts in social media, second screen, new technologies and mobile applications to put together innovative and effective marketing campaigns.

Jim Underwood, EVP, worldwide digital and commercial strategy, SPHE

Underwood leads a team that develops and executes the studio’s integrated digital strategy and transactional digital business for home entertainment across all channels of distribution, covering films and TV shows online, on mobile, cable, satellite and other platforms.

Underwood works closely with SPHE’s worldwide commercial group to help ensure the price and value alignment of the overall mix of studio products using windowing, new usage models, and new applications and services.

Prior to joining SPHE, Underwood served as EVP of corporate development for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Thanda Belker, EVP, U.S. pay-TV, Sony Pictures Television and SPHE

Residential and hotel and VOD and PPV licensing and marketing activities for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment fall under the guidance of Belker.

Pay-TV and subscription VOD licensing and promotional efforts are also Belker’s responsibility at Sony Pictures Television, along with bringing new products and windows to market on behalf of the studio, drawing from Sony’s library of content.

Representing the studio on several VOD marketing efforts, Belker helped create and establish the Home Premiere brand with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and other studios. She also is on the steering committee for a national cable transactional movies-on-demand marketing effort with representatives from the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing and other studios.

Matt Brown, EVP, worldwide commercial, SPHE

Heading up all of SPHE’s worldwide commercial initiatives, Brown is fully integrated with the digital group for the implementation of strategies intended to maximize sales and rental potential for digital as well as physical media. In this role, he is tasked with responding to the unique and evolving commercial demands of each country.

He and his team of global sales executives continue to position SPHE at the forefront of the digital market by helping to determine windowing and pricing strategies as well as innovative sales programs relevant to the global markets.

Brown has served in a variety of senior executive roles at SPHE, including most recently as EVP for North American and international and, prior to that, as EVP for Europe.

Eric Berger, EVP, digital networks, Sony Pictures Television

Berger heads Crackle, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s online video network. Responsible for programming, content development, marketing and distribution for Crackle, Berger also manages day-to-day operations of the digital extensions of the SPT Networks around the world. He oversees Crackle’s video operations, engineering, overall product and multiplatform distribution for the business’ original series, TV shows and films. Having recently launched in Brazil and Latin America this year, Crackle now is available in 23 countries.

Jason Spivak, SVP and GM, worldwide digital distribution, SPHE

Spivak is responsible for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s worldwide transactional digital business. Leading SPHE’s digital distribution team means managing account relationships with digital service providers and retailers. Prior to his current position, Spivak was SVP of strategic development and prior to that VP of digital distribution. Before joining Sony, Spivak spent eight years with MGM Home Entertainment, leading early digital distribution efforts.

Richard Berger, SVP, global digital strategy and operations, SPHE

Berger is charged with developing the strategy for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s digital distribution business.

Berger drives innovation in the home entertainment division by creating new digital products and usage models, enabling consumers to enjoy Sony Pictures movies in new ways. He was crucial in the studio’s launch of UltraViolet and in the studio’s work with retail partners to enable new digital offerings such as digital copies on disc and disc-to-digital initiatives. Berger also oversees operations supporting the studio’s digital distribution business.

Before joining SPHE, Berger served as SVP of new media and technology at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he was one of the original creators of UltraViolet and helped form DECE.

Rich Marty, VP, emerging platform development and marketing, SPHE

The industry’s and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s marketing development and strategy for UltraViolet, the continued marketing of Blu-ray Disc, the rollout of 3D for the home, new emerging platform opportunities, and oversight of the studio’s Blu-ray release schedule all fall under the purview of Marty.

Marty is also involved in Sony United cross-divisional activities, represents SPHE in multi-company marketing and promotions initiatives and chairs the UltraViolet Marketing Task Force for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.
A 13-year veteran of the home entertainment industry, Marty first joined SPHE in 1999 to help roll out DVD in international territories.

Spencer Stephens, chief technology officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment

It takes a technological mind to help a studio create and distribute movies, TV and other entertainment content, and Sony Pictures Entertainment turns to Stephens for that.

Guiding the implementation of the studio’s digital backbone and streamlining and expediting production and post production, Stephens creates new digital media and production work flows and systems (including cloud-based, 3D and 4K-enabled services), helps set digital policy and works in developing technology for DECE.

Stephens represents the studio on several technical working groups, technology consortiums and industry forums. He also works with his counterparts across Sony Corp. to development tools for the creation, distribution and display of entertainment across platforms.

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