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Digital Drivers 2016: Retail/Technology/Other


Richard Au, head of content acquisition
Au leads the domestic content acquisition team for Amazon’s “streaming partners program” — the e-commerce behemoth’s platform offering Prime members access to third-party SVOD services. Au previously led the worldwide business development team for Kindle-supporting devices and the Kindle reading app and was on the corporate strategic business development team focused on digital media. 

Roy Price, digital video and Amazon Studios
Price oversees Prime Video, including content licensing and acquisition and all development, production and acquisition of Amazon Original Series and Movies, which includes the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning series “Transparent,” Globe- winning series “Mozart in the Jungle,” Emmy-winning kids series, “Tumble Leaf” and the first Amazon Original Movie, Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, among others.

Michael Paull, VP, digital video
Paull spearheads Amazon’s global digital video channels business. He is responsible for content, product, technology, operations and marketing of this division, which includes the “streaming partners program.” In addition, he oversees all development, production and acquisition of Amazon Unscripted Series. Previously, Paull oversaw Prime Video and Amazon’s TVOD business in the United States.

Brad Beale, VP, content acquisition
Beale oversees acquisition and licensing of TV series for Prime Video worldwide. He is in charge of procuring content from networks such as CBS, NBC, HBO and PBS, among others. Before he joined Amazon in 2012, he served as VP of business development for Peel Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup focusing on mobile applications for content discovery and device control. 

Jason Ropell, worldwide head of motion pictures
Ropell oversees all development, production, distribution and marketing of Amazon Studios originals films, as well as all acquisitions and licensing of films for Prime Video worldwide. Ropell joined Amazon in 2012, were he became head of international content, overseeing TV and films on Amazon’s international video platforms in Europe and launching their video service in Japan.

CBS All Access

Christy Tanner, SVP and GM, CBS News Digital
Tanner oversees strategy and operations for CBS News on all digital platforms, including 
CBSNews.com, CBSN, and the mobile apps for CBS News, “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours.”

Jeffrey Gerttula, SVP and GM, CBS Sports Digital
Gerttula oversees strategy, product development, operations, content and design for CBS Sports across its digital platforms. He joined CBS Sports Digital as the VP of programming in 2009. Prior to that, he worked with Sporting News for six years as GM of SportingNews.com and GM of their Fantasy Game business.

Nancy Lane, senior executive producer, CBS News Digital
Lane oversees all content for CBS News’ digital properties, including CBSNews.com, the CBS News mobile apps and social media accounts, and CBSN. Prior to joining CBSNews.com, Lane was SVP of editorial for CNN/U.S.


Matthew Strauss, EVP and GM, video services
Strauss is the steward of one of the nation’s largest pay-TV distributors of video and entertainment services. His current focus is on innovation, personalization and seamless access to video entertainment across all platforms, including the cable industry’s first cloud-based set-top box, the X1 Entertainment Operating System; first talking guide; and transactional platform Xfinity On Demand.

Michael Schreiber, SVP, content acquisition

Schreiber is one of the lead negotiators of key programming agreements and renewals, and oversees content acquisition for Xfinity On Demand, TV Everywhere, the Xfinity Digital Store, Watchable, advanced advertising and other emerging platforms. This past year, his team collaborated with programmers to exceed 100 live streaming networks on the Xfinity TV mobile app and website, and more than 700 series for the 2015-16 broadcast season.

Andy Hunter, VP, programming, video services
Hunter manages editorial and programming across all video platforms and consumer touch points, including Xfinity On Demand and the Xfinity TV mobile app and website. Hunter’s team works closely with content partners to bring their programming to as many platforms as possible and help Xfinity TV customers find and discover content available to them as part of their subscription.

Daniel Spinosa, GM, movies, PPV and commerce, video services
Spinosa is responsible for developing the rental, subscription and transactional content available on all Xfinity TV platforms. He led the launch of the Xfinity Digital Store in 2014, the first pay-TV digital sales platform for new-release movies.


Chris Roberts, SVP, sales, OnDemand Everywhere
With more than 25 years in the home entertainment industry, Roberts continues to be at the forefront of home entertainment and media measurement. In 2013, Roberts created the industry’s first digital transparency service for movies and TV under Rentrak, which recently merged into comScore. He continues to expand its scope and coverage for major studios, networks and independent distributors as OTT distribution grows.
A member of the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Digital Council Steering Committee, Roberts can frequently be found speaking at events conducted by the EMA, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and other organizations about the status of the evolving digital market — and comScore’s research on its progress.

Vince Muscarella, VP, studio digital services
Muscarella draws from more than 14 years of digital, VOD and home entertainment industry knowledge and experience, including business development for all digital transactional and ad-supported accounts for Alchemy (formerly Millennium). Subsequently, he logged more than four years helping his research team (first at Rentrak then comScore) grow its digital and VOD media measurement services, including its Digital Download Essentials Industry service.


Eric Berger, EVP of digital networks for Sony Pictures Television, and GM of Crackle
Berger leads all digital operations and initiatives in the over-the-top and traditional linear TV networks business. Crackle is a digital OTT streaming network distributed online, on mobile and on connected TVs and game consoles. He oversees the original programming with Sony Pictures that produces and distributes award-winning series and feature-length productions, including “The Art of More,” Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, The Chosen, as well as commissioning “Sports Jeopardy!,” and Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” among others.


Amy Jo Smith, president, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Smith heads up the trade association for the home entertainment industry that advocates and promotes entertainment platforms, products and distribution channels that support the movie, television, music, consumer electronic and IT industries. DEG members look to Smith to support important industry initiatives such as 4K Ultra HD, high-resolution audio and the digital ecosystem. Under Smith’s leadership, the DEG has spearheaded widespread adoption of standards in the digital supply chain, alignment of messages in the digital market and campaigns to increase awareness of entertainment products in the digital space.


Mark Fisher, president and CEO, Entertainment Merchants Association
Fisher was the architect of the EMA’s pivot from a physical goods organization to one that champions physical and digital. He established the EMA’s Digital Supply Chain Committee and associated groups, which have led the industry to create and adopt a variety of standards. Fisher created the Digital Media Pipeline, the EMA’s annual conference focused on digital entertainment. He also manages the EMA Digital Steering Committee, which oversees the association’s digital supply chain initiatives, digital events, digital white papers and other digital initiatives.


Paul Yanover, president
Yanover leads Fandango’s overall businesses, which include online movie ticketing, content and marketing for exhibitors, studios and advertisers. He’s also in charge of FandangoNow, the company’s new transactional VOD and digital sellthrough platform (formerly M-Go). As part of FandangoNow, Yanover will be charge of expanding the platform’s original and exclusive content across mobile, TV and the Web.


Thomas Ashley, founder and CEO
Ashley is in charge of differentiating FlixFling from its competitors by offering a cloud-based digital locker system, transactional VOD and subscription streaming. While targeting FlixFling to independent film fans, the service’s app is now featured on Roku, LG, Samsung, Android, Apple iOS and Xbox, among others.

Mike Nagle, digital media sales, 
acquisition, marketing & business development
Nagle developed FlixFling’s partnership with Music Choice, which integrates a music catalog with a digital video platform. A newcomer to FlixFling, Nagle previously orchestrated Bloomberg’s participation in Comcast’s VOD pilot test.


George Strompolos, founder and CEO
Prior to founding over-the-top video service Fullscreen, Strompolos served as strategic partnerships manager at YouTube and was responsible for establishing distribution channels with new media companies and content producers. In 2007, he co-created the YouTube Partner Program, which provided new monetization opportunities for a new class of online content producers around the world. He also led YouTube’s first multimillion-dollar programming fund and spearheaded key initiatives, including Seth MacFarlane’s “Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.”


Jamie Rosenberg, VP of digital content
Rosenberg leads a cross-functional team that includes product development, engineering, content merchandising, business partnerships and operations for Google Play, Google’s digital content store offering apps, games, music, movies and books.

Bill Kotzman, partner product manager, TV/film, Google Play
Kotzman spearheads development and adoption of standards, specifications and best practices for the digital video supply chain, creating efficiencies that reduce costs and speed content availability for consumers. He has been a key driver in the adoption of the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Avails standard for content availability metadata, which has been widely embraced by content providers and retailers. The standard enables automation of the ingest of avails and has dramatically decreased the time needed for ingest and the error rates.


Mike Hopkins, CEO
In the past year, Hopkins launched Hulu’s “no commercials” tier, making the subscription streaming service the only to offer both limited commercials and no commercials subscription plans. The former 20th Century Fox executive also built out Hulu’s executive team.

Elaine Paul, CFO
Paul oversees all financial efforts and strategic decisions for Hulu. Prior to joining Hulu, Paul served as SVP of corporate strategy at the Walt Disney Co. where she led various acquisitions, new business initiatives and strategic investments, including Disney’s original investment in Hulu in 2009.

Tim Connolly, SVP, head of distribution
Connolly signed a distribution deal with Showtime OTT, making Hulu the first-ever streaming service to offer a premium add-on available through its platform. For an additional $8.99 per month users can stream all Showtime content on Hulu. He also inked deals with seven multichannel video program distributors, including Cablevision, to distribute Hulu directly via TiVo set-top boxes.

Craig Erwich, SVP, head of content
Erwich has spearheaded Hulu’s aggressive content license deals this past year, including originals and acquisitions. He led the originals team to greenlight a slate of critically-acclaimed Hulu Originals, including “11.22.63,” “The Path” and “Casual,” the latter earning Hulu’s first Golden Globe nomination. Erwich helped Hulu acquire exclusive SVOD rights “Seinfeld,” “Empire,” “Blindspot,” “Fargo,” “Broad City,” “UnReal” and signed major content deals with major TV brands, including AMC, FX and Turner.

Tian Lim, CTO
Lim is spearheading Hulu’s foray into virtual reality programming. He also worked on the Showtime OTT deal, in addition to commercial-free subscription options.


Kurt Silverman, SVP, development and delivery
Silverman is responsible for product management, R&D and network architecture. Joining Limelight in 2013, Silverman has more than 30 years of experience in designing, developing and implementing large-scale critical software platforms.  

Jason Hofmann, VP, architecture
Hofmann leads initiatives to improve upon Limelight’s content delivery network architecture to improve performance and efficiency. He joined the company in 2009 and has held key roles in management for The Limelight Orchestrate solution comprised of content delivery, video streaming, Web acceleration, security, DNS traffic management, and was the global manager of solution engineering and performance. 


Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO
Hastings co-founded Netflix’s by-mail disc rental service in 1997. In 2002 he took the company public, and in 2003 it surpassed 1 million subscribers. Netflix began streaming content over the Internet in 2007 and today has more than 81 million subscribers globally in more than 190 countries.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer
Sarandos spent the past year launching Netflix original movies, including Beasts of No Nation, Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous 6, and this year with Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, among others. He oversees the Beverly Hills, Calif., office that manages content acquisitions, including original series and landmark content pacts with The Walt Disney Co. and DreamWorks Animation, among others.

Neil Hunt, chief product officer 
Hunt spearheads the product team, which designs, builds and optimizes Netflix’s SVOD business. He has been instrumental in the rollout of 4K-resolution streaming of select Netflix original programs, including “House of Cards” “Daredevil, “Marco Polo,” “Bloodline,” “Narcos” and “Orange Is the New Black.”

Gregory Peters, chief streaming and partnerships officer
Peters is responsible for the global partnerships with consumer electronics companies, Internet service providers and multichannel video programming distributors. Prior to joining Netflix in 2008, Peters was SVP of consumer electronics products for Macrovision — later renamed Rovi Corp.


Anthony Wood, founder and CEO
As the co-creator of subscription streaming video market with Netflix, Wood has worn many hats since forming Roku. Prior to Roku, he invented the digital video recorder (DVR) and founded ReplayTV, where he served as CEO before the company’s acquisition and subsequent sale to DirecTV.

Chas Smith, GM, OEM
Smith oversees Roku’s OEM business to expand the Roku platform reach beyond the set-top box and into consumer electronics devices. Before Roku, he was GM for Avid Technology’s video division and VP of worldwide sales, marketing and service.

Matthew Anderson, chief marketing officer
Anderson is responsible for retail device sales, global marketing, communications and customer service across the company’s three business units: streaming media players, content and services, and OEM partnerships. Prior to becoming CMO, Anderson was a strategic advisor focusing on corporate strategy and development, including capital raising, and supporting marketing and communications.

Steve Shannon, GM, content and services
Shannon is responsible for establishing new content relationships, acquiring entertainment and growing services. Prior to Roku, Shannon held senior executive roles at digital media companies RealD and Gemstar-TV Guide.


Linda Pan, SVP, new digital business, AMC Networks
Pan oversees AMC Networks’s SVOD services, including Sundance Now (indie content) and Shudder (horror). Pan also serves as GM of Shudder. Prior to AMC, she oversaw operations and strategy at Hallmark’s SVOD service Feeln. 

Sling TV

Roger Lynch, CEO
In the past year, Lynch’s team expanded Sling TV’s online service to 12 device platforms, grew domestic programming to more than 80 channels and introduced a beta multistream service. Lynch, who spearheaded the launch of Sling TV, also orchestrated the relaunch of Sling International (formerly Dish World) in 2012.

Sruta Vootukuru, VP, business development and operations
Vootukuru has paved the way for innovative partnerships, technologies and operations practices within Sling TV. In 2015, her guidance helped lead Sling TV to market as the first live and on-demand OTT TV service.

Ben Weinberger, chief product officer
Weinberger oversees product development and management, programming and editorial teams. He applied his prior experience as co-founder and CEO of Digitalsmiths to transform the Sling TV user experience. Under his direction, Sling TV deployed phase one of the next-generation user-interface (UI) in 2015. He also steered additional UI advancements.

Starz Digital Media

Michael Thornton, chief revenue officer 
Thornton oversees Starz’s move into OTT video distribution through Amazon Prime’s third-party SVOD market. The Starz OTT app is also distributed by Google Play and iTunes. He also heads Starz Distribution businesses, including Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Worldwide Distribution and Starz Digital Media. Additionally, Thornton spearheads programming acquisitions for the 17 Starz premium pay-TV channels, on demand and online offerings.

Mara Winokur, SVP, digital
Winokur is responsible for the strategy, operation and execution of Starz’s worldwide transactional, on-demand, subscription and ad-supported businesses across multiple digital platforms. She and her team manage the digital distribution, licensing, syndication, content and vendor relationships across a variety of partners and distributors.

Scott Barton, SVP, branded digital content and products 
Barton leads the programming and product vision for all on-demand, online, digital and consumer-facing video products and platforms, including Starz Play, Starz On Demand, Starz.com and other TV Everywhere services.

Jason Wyrick, VP, digital platforms
Wyrick oversees a team of developers, creators and business analysts and is responsible for all technical aspects of externally facing systems including Starz Play, Encore Play, Movieplex Play, Starz.com and affiliate integrations. Wyrick also leads the digital platforms team in development, launch and ongoing management of digital products and services.


Darcy Antonellis, CEO
Antonellis leads the largest global provider of premium content managed services and technical solutions, providing services in 117 countries. From direct content licensing through to distribution, Vubiquity helps its customers connect to and monetize opportunities in VOD, subscription services, EST, linear content delivery, TV Everywhere, advanced advertising and data services. During the past year, Antonellis led a series of acquisitions, including Juice Worldwide, which has distribution deals with iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Google Play and Warner Bros.’ Digital-End-to-End (DETE) managed content technology service. Juice and DETE combined with Vubiquity’s AnyVU Content Cloud to create an automated global cloud platform.


Jeremy Verba, VP, GM
Verba is instrumental in expanding Vudu’s reach, media properties and digital platforms at parent Walmart. As a result of his leadership, Vudu has seen unprecedented growth and new partnerships with multiple studios, offering users new-release movies and TV shows.

Scott Blanksteen, VP, product and platform
Blanksteen is the DECE representative for Vudu and Walmart. He is responsible for bringing new services to market, including advanced streaming options such as 4K Ultra HD, new audio and video compatibilities, and expanded mobile initiatives.

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