What: Variety’s Entertainment Summit at CES
When: Jan. 6, 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: ARIA, Bristlecone 10, Las Vegas
Technology is transforming the entertainment industry at an astonishing clip, creating huge choices in how to produce, monetize, market and distribute content for today’s digitally savvy audiences. Join our conversations at CES 2017 to stay ahead of the best strategies across all media platforms. Pioneers and innovators of the entertainment industry will share how they are taking risks and finding opportunities to succeed now and into the future.
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1 p.m. to 1:30 Headliner Conversation with Shaquille O’Neal, Four-Time NBA Champion and David Levy, President Turner
Interviewed by Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety
1:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. The State of Peak MultiPlatform
It’s easy to get whiplash, with content options in every direction audiences turn. How are media companies broadening their reach with new digital channels, and avoiding spreading their audiences too thin across such a large sea of choice? How are online platforms staying competitive as traditional media companies sharpen their digital focus? Top multiplatform chiefs will explore today and future opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Todd Spangler, New York Digital Editor, Variety
Joey Levin, CEO, IAC (College Humor, Tinder, Vimeo, among other properties)
Richard Au, Director, Content Acquisition, Amazon Video
Bill Koenig, President, Global Media, National Basketball Association
Mark Greenberg, CEO, EPIX
Mark Young, SVP, Strategy and Business Development, Fandango
John Harrison, Global Media & Entertainment Transactions Services Leader, EY
2:10 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Engineering the Customer Outcome
By combining creativity with customer data it’s possible to deliver new dimensions of engagement and experience. Data unlocks our understanding of customers and creates a feedback loop, enabling continuous enrichment of the customer experience, raising their expectations ever upwards. Data alone is not enough but it needs creativity and content to bring it to life
Janet Balis, Global Media & Entertainment Advisory, Strategy & Customer Leader, EY
Interviewed by Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Making Compelling Branded Content: A Headliner Conversation with Nielsen
How brands advertise is changing. And today, the success of a brand depends in part on the strength of the content they produce. Most major media companies and advertisers are investing in studios to develop branded content, but how do you know what works, and what doesn’t, with consumers?
Join Nielsen and members of the Nielsen Content team for a conversation on how advertisers, content creators distributors, and publishers can maximize the impact of their branded content investments and strategies with actionable data and insights
Lynda Clarizio, President, US Media, Nielsen
Chad Dreas, Managing Director of Media Analytics, Nielsen
Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety
3:00 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. The Connected Playground – To Infinity and Beyond
There’s never been a more enlightened time to be in media, as audiences are running to experience live streaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and more. The latest connected TVs, phones, mobile gadgets, artificial intelligence applications and other technology is injecting new opportunity into entertainment industry. Who are the big players in today’s cutting-edge media products and platforms? What production technologies will break through next? Leading creative minds and technology thought-leaders will converge to talk about how they are pushing storytelling boundaries in film, gaming and TV.
Janko Roettgers, Senior Silicon Valley Correspondent, Variety
Kevin Lin, Chief Operating Officer, Twitch
Phil Keslin, Chief Technology Officer, Pokémon Go’s Niantic Labs
Alex Hofmann, President, North America, musical.ly
John Honeycutt, Chief Technology Officer, Discovery Communications
JC Cangilla, Chief Operating Officer, New Form
Molly DeWolf Swenson, Chief Marketing Officer, RYOT, AOL
3:40 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. Strategies in Connecting With Digital Audiences Worldwide – A Headliner Conversation with Shahrzad Rafati, CEO, BroadbandTV
Todd Spangler, New York Digital Editor, Variety
3:55 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. Headliner Conversation: WWE’s Multi-Platform Strategy – Engaging Fans Around the World with Michelle Wilson, Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, WWE
Todd Spangler, New York Digital Editor, Variety
4:10 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. Love at First Sight on Social
There is tremendous power in creating an instantaneous connection with consumers in today’s fragmented media environment, particularly within social media. Twitter will present new research and best practices from brands for creating “love at first sight” in social feeds.
Stacy Minero, Head of Planning and Creative Agency Development, Twitter
4:20 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Titans of Video Engagement
Video dominates our attention – across all manner of format, including bite-size shared moments, serialized longer form content, clever branded messaging and more. Who are the leaders in developing, distributing and marketing breakthrough video for audiences and brand partners? Platforms chiefs and their partners will share how they are moving the video explosion forward.
Greg Boyer, Partner, Entertainment, Media and Communications, PwC
Ralf Jacob, President, Verizon Digital Media Services
Jenny Wall, Chief Marketing Officer, Hulu
Gwen Throckmorton, Head of Industry, Entertainment, Facebook
Peter Minnium, President, Ipsos Connect
Ben Relles, Head of Comedy and Unscripted, YouTube Originals
Kathy Kayse, VP Sales Strategy and Solutions, Yahoo
5:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Spotlight on Storytelling and Technology with Aisha Tyler, Actor/Host and 2017 CES Ambassador
5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Headliner Conversation with Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Reddit
Janko Roettgers, Senior Silicon Valley Correspondent, Variety
Who Is Speaking?
- Shaquille O'NealNBA Champion
• Shaquille O’Neal is in his 6th season as a studio analyst for TNT’s Sports Emmy® Award-winning studio show Inside the NBA and is a part of the network’s exclusive NBA All-Star weekend and NBA Playoffs coverage. O’Neal first joined Turner for the 2011-2012 season.
• O’Neal also is a key contributor to NBA TV and NBA.com, providing analysis and commentary throughout the regular season, The Finals, All Star Weekend and the NBA Draft, as well as co-hosting the network’s Shaqtin’ A Fool series.
• O’Neal spent 19 years in the NBA after being drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA Draft. He played for the Magic (1992-1996), LA Lakers (1996-2004), Miami Heat (2004-2008), Phoenix Suns (2008-2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010) and Boston Celtics (2010-2011).
• O’Neal appeared in 1207 regular season games, averaging 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 blocks in 34.7 minutes per contest throughout his career.
• O’Neal was chosen as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, ranks eighth all-time in NBA scoring history (28,596 points scored), won the Rookie of the Year award (1993), MVP award (2000) and was named All-NBA 14 times.
• Additionally, O’Neal’s career includes four NBA Championships – three with the LA Lakers (2000-02), where he was named NBA Finals MVP for all three championships, and one with the Miami Heat (2006).
• O’Neal was a 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA All-Star MVP (2000, 2004, 2009) also won three scoring titles (1995, 1999, 2000).
• O’Neal was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, September 2016.
• O’Neal attended Louisiana State University from 1989-1992. He led the SEC in rebounds and blocks in all three seasons in Baton Rouge. O’Neal twice won the SEC Player of the Year Award and was also a two-time first-team All-American selection. He finished his LSU career with school records in total blocked shots and career blocks per game.
• O’Neal is just the fourth LSU athlete to have his number retired.
• O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey.
• O’Neal graduated from Cole High School in San Antonio where he was a McDonald’s All-American and first-team Parade All-American in 1989.
• O’Neal is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, with entertainment credits including a number of roles and executive producer credits in both television and film.
• O’Neal serves as a national spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Club of America.
- Shahrzad RafatiBroadbandTV
- Lynda ClarizioNielsen
Lynda Clarizio joined Nielsen in August 2013 as President, U.S. Media. She is responsible for
leading the performance of Nielsen’s Watch
business in the United States, including
managing the U.S. teams supporting Nielsen’s
media clients across national and local
television, digital and other media.
Lynda has spent the last 15 years as a successful executive in the media industry
growing and scaling advertising businesses. Prior to Nielsen, she was the
Executive Vice President for corporate development and operations at AppNexus,
which operates one of the industry’s fastest growing platforms for the buying and
selling of digital advertising through real-time bidding.
Before joining AppNexus, Lynda was CEO and President of INVISION, Inc. from
2009 through 2012. INVISION is a leading provider of multi-platform advertising
solutions to the media industry.
Lynda came to INVISION after a decade long career at AOL, which she joined in
1999. Lynda served as President of AOL’s consolidated advertising businesses,
then called Platform-A. She also served as President of Advertising.com, leading
the industry’s largest third party online advertising network. (Advertising.com was
an independent subsidiary of AOL and later became part of Platform-A.) She was
the Executive Vice President of AOL’s Audience Business responsible for strategy,
finance and business development. She also was AOL’s Senior Vice President for
corporate strategic and financial planning and Senior Vice President for
acquisitions and strategic investments.
Prior to joining AOL, Lynda was a partner in the leading Washington, DC law firm
Arnold & Porter, where she practiced law from 1987 through 1999.
Lynda is a recognized leader in advertising and media, having been named one of
2011’s top 100 “Tech Titans” in the Washington, DC region by The Washingtonian,
one of 2009’s “25 Executives to Watch in Digital Entertainment” by Digital Media
Wire, and one of 2008’s “Women to Watch” by Advertising Age. She also was
selected one of 1998’s “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40” by The Washingtonian. Lynda
serves as a senior industry advisor to the investment banking firm Berenson &
Company and is a member of the Board of Directors of Batanga Media, Resonate
and Human Rights First. She also is a member of the Leadership Council of
Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Lynda is a 1985 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University.
- David LevyTurner
David Levy is president of Turner, overseeing the company’s leading portfolio of domestic entertainment, kids and young adult networks and businesses, including TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, truTV and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Additionally, he leads advertising sales strategy and operations, affiliate sales, programming acquisitions, marketing promotion, interactive television and technology business development for the domestic Turner businesses, as well as CNN and HLN’s ad sales and affiliate sales and Turner Sports’ programming acquisitions, production, marketing, league relations and sports ad sales.
Since Levy was elevated to his current position in August 2013, the Turner networks have achieved a number of notable competitive victories, with TBS currently ranking as basic cable’s #1 entertainment network among adults 18-49 for the third consecutive year; TNT scoring six of basic cable’s Top 10 original series in 2013 and 2014, more than any other network; Adult Swim ranking as the top network in total day delivery of adults 18-34 and adults 18-49; Cartoon Network finishing 2014 as the only major kids network to deliver audience growth; and truTV successfully revamping its brand and primetime lineup.
On the sports front, Levy recently led Turner’s efforts in expanding its media rights partnership with the NBA. The deal continues TNT’s successful and popular Thursday night NBA franchise, cements the network’s foundation for televising more NBA playoff games than any other network, The deal also provides TNT with an additional 12 showcase games, extends the network’s exclusive coverage of the league’s signature All-Star Weekend events and provides enhanced rights for Bleacher Report and activation opportunities.
Also under Levy, Turner has become an industry leader in creating affiliate value by leveraging the company’s portfolio of networks. Levy and Turner Network Sales, the company’s affiliate sales division, continue to drive the company’s industry leading efforts for TV Everywhere (TVE), now available in more than 80 million households.
Prior to being named to his current position, Levy served as president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner. Under his leadership, the Turner ad sales division has consistently been recognized as the leading television and digital sales organization. Clients continually acknowledge the division for its creativity in developing innovative and integrated sponsorship ideas across Turner’s vast portfolio of television, digital and mobile platforms that further drive value and exposure for advertising partners.
Since assuming executive leadership for Turner Sports in 2003, Levy has been instrumental in deepening and expanding Turner’s media rights and defining the division by its association with premium sports content, brands and events. Levy has negotiated a number of wide-ranging agreements, each representing a significant change that extended well beyond traditional television rights.
In 2012, under Levy’s direction the company reached a new, long-term, multimedia rights agreement with Major League Baseball, the most expansive in Turner’s history with the league. He also led Turner’s efforts in the acquisition of Bleacher Report, a leading online multi-sport destination. In 2010, Levy was instrumental in orchestrating a landmark deal, partnering with CBS for the television, Internet, wireless, marketing and corporate sponsorship rights to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through 2024. In 2014, TBS exclusively televised the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, marking the first time in the event’s history the National Semifinal games were televised by a cable network.
The Turner Sports portfolio consists of premium sports content year-round featuring partnerships with the NBA, the NCAA for the Division One Men’s Basketball Championship, Major League Baseball and the PGA of America.
Levy, who has received numerous awards for his professional achievements during his career at Turner, was elected to the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2012.
Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; kids and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
– See more at: http://www.turner.com/pressroom/david-levy#sthash.zRzJoGFG.dpuf
- Aisha TylerActor/Host
Aisha Tyler voices the role of Lana Kane on FX’s Emmy-winning animated show Archer, hosts of CBS’s Daytime Emmy Award-winning The Talk, is a series regular on CBS’ hit drama Criminal Minds, hosts the comedy improv show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and is the creator and host of her own podcast, Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler.
Girl on Guy was chosen by iTunes as a best new comedy podcast of 2011, and has over 17 million downloads to date. She has interviewed a variety of dynamic personalities from top actors, directors and comedians to chefs, athletes, musicians and more.
Aisha directed a short film in Ireland in 2015,called Ar Scath Le Cheile, which debuted at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2016, and directed her first feature film, the action-thriller Axis, in June 2016 in Los Angeles.
She is a best-selling author, her current book “Self Inflicted Wounds, Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation” debuting on the NY Times best-seller list in July of 2013. Based on a recurring element of her podcast, it’s a series of hilarious comic essays about times in her life she found herself in the middle of spectacularly humiliating incidents, entirely of her own making.
In early 2017 Aisha will add yet another job to her resume, debuting a line of bottled premium cocktails under the brand Courage+Stone. Inspired by her love of craft cocktails, Aisha has carefully overseen the development and production of the line and is excited about the first three cocktails that will debut.
Tyler’s first big break was as host of E! Entertainment’s “Talk Soup,” which she was the first woman and African-American to captain. After leaving “Talk Soup,” she moved into television and film roles, enjoying another first — the first African-American to play an extended character arc on “Friends.” She co-starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt in the CBS hit “Ghost Whisperer,” had extended roles on two of television’s top dramas — “CSI,” on the Network, and “24” — and has made numerous guest appearances on other top television series. Tyler also co-starred with Stuart Townsend in the action-adventure TV series, “XIII,” based on the internationally best-selling graphic novel of the same name.
In 2009, she returned to her stand-up comedy roots, starring in a one-hour special for Comedy Central, “Aisha Tyler is Lit: Live at the Fillmore.” Tyler’s feature film credits include “Bedtime Stories,” “Death Sentence” opposite Kevin Bacon, “Balls of Fury” with Christopher Walken “.45,” opposite Milla Jovovich, and “Santa Clause III” with Tim Allen.
People Magazine honored Tyler as one of the women featured in 2012’s “Most Beautiful” issue. Esquire called Aisha “sweetly wicked,” designating her one of its “Women We Love.” TV Guide called her one of television’s “In Crowd.” Maxim anointed her one of its “Hot 100” two years in a row.
In her spare time, Aisha is an avid video gamer and has voiced characters in Halo Reach and Watch Dogs. She is a member of the board of Planned Parenthood and has done charitable work for Trust for Public Land and taught self esteem workshops for girls.
- Molly DeWolf SwensonAOL
Molly DeWolf Swenson is the Chief Marketing Officer and a founding member of RYOT, a media company recently acquired by AOL / Huffington Post. RYOT pioneered news and doc-style virtual reality storytelling, and has grown to become one of the most prolific 360° content studios in the world.
Molly helmed RYOT’s evolution into a major media force and has overseen the production of over 100 virtual reality and documentary films in some of the world’s most challenging places such as the Arctic, Nepal, and Syria. She has helped broker collaborations with partners including: Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung Hulu, NPR, Walgreens, Kenneth Cole, PepsiCo, Save The Children, The Sierra Club, USAID and the United Nations. RYOT films in 2016 were recognized with nominations for Academy Awards, Peabody Awards and Emmys.
Before RYOT, Molly designed, implemented and managed highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies for celebrities such as Ben Stiller, Shakira and Kobe Bryant. While working at The Obama White House, identifying candidates for political appointment, she made it to the Top 50 on Season 10 of American Idol.
- Richard AuAmazon
Richard Au is the Director, Content Acquisition at Amazon Video and leads the US content acquisition team for Amazon Channels. Amazon Channels, launched in 2015, is an OTT platform that provides Amazon customers with access to video channels, including Showtime and Starz, without a cable subscription on the Amazon Video platform. Richard 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. Prior to Amazon, Richard led business development and corporate development at Creative Labs and was a corporate securities attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, focused on venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs. Richard received his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
- John HoneycuttDiscovery Communications
- Mark GreenbergEpix
- Janet BalisEY
- John HarrisonEY
- Gwen ThrockmortonFacebook
Gwen Throckmorton is the Head of Industry for Facebook’s Entertainment division. As a member of the Global Sales Group, Gwen leads a team that drives efficient, full funnel marketing strategies for a diverse set of clients across Film, Television, Live Events, Ticketing, Streaming, Music, & Publishing industries. Focused on providing relevant insights, partnerships, and compelling solutions, Gwen is charged with strategically growing and building Facebook’s footprint and relationships across the industries she serves.
Previously, Gwen was the director of Digital Product Activation for Time Warner Cable Media where she was responsible for the development, management, and growth of all multiplatform product ad offerings including interactive, video-on-demand (VOD) and online properties. While at Time Warner Cable, Gwen also led an emerging team of digital specialists that assisted internal and external clients in building consumer relationships through engaging, multilayered solutions and leading-edge technology.
During her tenure at Time Warner Cable, Gwen completed the Women in Cable Telecommunications Rising Leaders program and received a Digital Sales Certification from the IAB.
Prior to joining the Time Warner Cable, Gwen worked in a variety of capacities for Sony Pictures Television coordinating the development and production of several first run cable & syndication programs including early cable standouts, Lifetime’s Strong Medicine and FX’s The Shield.
Gwen is a proud graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film. She resides in Austin and in her spare time she enjoys feeding her family, her faith, and love of the outdoors and all things sports including rooting on her beloved Horned Frogs.
- Mark YoungFandango
Mark Young leads Global Strategy and Business Development for Fandango, the leading digital destination for all things movies and a subsidiary of NBCUniversal. Mark is focused on providing insights into consumer and technology trends and capitalizing on them to grow all lines of Fandango’s business, domestically and internationally, including FandangoNOW, the company’s new on-demand video service, FandangoNOW, Rotten Tomatoes and Movieclips.
Mark also oversees distribution and co-marketing of mobile services, commerce and video with third-party partners such as mobile network providers, handset manufacturers, connected devices, social media and digital video platforms, app stores and retailers.
Mark joined NBCUniversal from Comcast Interactive Media (CIM) where he led mobile strategy and business development across a portfolio of digital properties, as well as co-led the strategy and go-to-market launch of Xfinity’s initial video service on iOS (iPad & iPhone) and Android devices.
Prior to Comcast, Young was at The Walt Disney Company for seven years, of which the last three years he served as the vice president of strategy and business development for The Walt Disney Internet and Mobile Group. Prior to Disney, he was the vice president of business development and partner management for mobile data services pioneer Moviso/Infospace, and an executive at IBM’s Innovation Center where he advised studios and media companies on digital asset distribution and management.
He is a member of the Center of Technology Management at USC.
- Jenny WallHulu
Jenny Wall is Chief Marketing Offier of Hulu. She is responsible for marketing strategy and implementation across the Hulu brand, overseeing all acquisition and retention initiatives, as well as PR, Events, Content, Research, and Creative. Since joining Hulu in 2014, Jenny launched the marketing efforts for Hulu’s new slate of original programming including Chance, The Path, 11.22.63, The Mindy Project, Difficult People and the Golden Globe-nominated series, Casual. She also spearheaded marketing campaigns for Hulu’s new commercial-free offering, as well as the streaming debut of one of the biggest series of all time, Seinfeld. Jenny has refocused Hulu’s marketing efforts to significantly raise brand awareness and drive subscriber growth through recent campaigns including, “In the Know.” Her efforts at Hulu landed her on Ad Age’s 2015 Women to Watch list. Prior to joining Hulu, Jenny led the global creative team at Netflix and led the brand campaigns and launch campaigns for the Original Series House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Arrested Development. Before that, Jenny spent three years as Chief Marketing Officer of the entertainment agency BLT Communications creating 360° campaigns for television, films, and brands. Prior to that, Jenny ran the Interactive Division at Crew Creative, spending her last year there as President of the agency, overseeing the Print, AV and Digital divisions. Jenny’s entertainment career began at HBO in 1995 in New York where she was part of the team that created the landmark “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” campaign. She began her career at DDB Needham after graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Jenny is an active member of the marketing community and serves on the Board of Directors for PromaxBDA and is a jury chair for the CLIO Key Art Awards.
- Joey LevinIAC
Joey Levin is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).
Appointed to the position in June 2015, Mr. Levin is responsible for the strategic leadership of IAC and its operating businesses. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of IAC and Match Group.
Prior to this, Joey Levin was the CEO of IAC Search & Applications, overseeing the desktop software, mobile applications, and media properties that comprised IAC’s Search & Applications segment. In this role he was responsible for setting overall strategy and maximizing opportunities across IAC’s Search and Applications brands which included About.com, Apalon, Ask.com, Dictionary.com, Investopedia, and others.
He was previously CEO of Mindspark Interactive Network, a consumer software company that builds, markets and delivers a wide range of consumer software products.
Prior to his appointment at Mindspark in November 2009, Mr. Levin served as Senior Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions and Finance for IAC, and has held various roles within IAC since joining the company in 2003. Prior to joining IAC, Mr. Levin worked in the Technology Mergers & Acquisitions group for Credit Suisse First Boston (now Credit Suisse) in San Francisco advising public and private technology and e-commerce companies on a variety of transactions.
Mr. Levin previously served on the Board of Directors of Tree.com (NASDAQ: TREE) from August 2008 until November 2014, and served on the Board of Directors of The Active Network (NYSE: ACTV) from February 2008 up until its sale to Vista Equity Partners in December 2013. He graduated from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.A.S. in Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Mr. Levin currently serves on the Wharton Undergraduate Executive Board.
- Peter MinniumIpsos Connect
- Alex Hofmannmusical.ly
Tech entrepreneur Alex Hofmann has a passion for creating innovative apps, websites and online communities that encourage a happier, more connected world. Not only is Hofmann adept at nurturing creative and business opportunities in highly successful digital endeavors, he understands how to effectively bring people together around dedicated social networks.
Currently, Hofmann is President of musical.ly (North America), a video social network that celebrates daily life with videos recorded in 15 seconds or less. Shortly after launching in 2014, musical.ly founders Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang offered Hofmann a position leading the growing platform’s efforts in the U.S. Within three months of joining the team, app downloads increased from 200 to 500,000 per day. musical.ly has since grown exponentially, with over 140 million users globally.
Designed to connect people all over the world and encourage self-expression, musical.ly delivers instant video experiences to the hands of its users, dubbed “musers,” with special tools and features that bring each moment to life. As an outlet for singing, dancing, comedy, lip-syncing and more— musical.ly offers a fun place for users to create content, showcase interests, and share videos in ways that align with current conversations and trends across social networks.
Building on Hofmann’s vision to foster happy and connected communities, users of musical.ly have proven to be engaging, personable and spirited as they interact with one another on and off the platform. This devoted audience continues to expand and diversify across all demographics.
Previous to the international success of musical.ly, Hofmann founded several app companies and built many online communities including one of the largest German expat blog networks in the world. In addition, he played an instrumental role at SAP— the world’s largest enterprise software company— leading teams as Director of Marketing and Product Management. For his hard work and dedication to the company, he was awarded the High Potential Fellow distinction five years in a row.
A German native, Hofmann currently resides in Los Angeles.
- Bill KoenigNational Basketball Association
As President of Global Media Content Distribution, Bill Koenig is responsible for the domestic and international media businesses for the NBA, WNBA, NBA Development League and USA Basketball. In this role, Koenig develops strategies for dealing with the rapidly changing media landscape, structures and negotiates broadcast and digital media agreements, and advises NBA teams on local media matters. Koenig also helps manage the NBA’s relationships with the league’s television partners, such as ABC/ESPN, Turner, 21st Century Fox, Comcast and DirecTV, and digital media partners.
Prior to his current role, Koenig was NBA Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel, where he was the head of business affairs and responsible for all legal work across a variety of league businesses, including digital, television, media, sponsorship, and licensing. In that role, Koenig helped negotiate virtually every major commercial agreement for the NBA, developed and oversaw the league’s media policies and was instrumental in many NBA accomplishments, including the launch and growth of NBA TV and the WNBA, the NBA’s partnership with Turner to jointly manage NBA Digital’s assets and the creation of NBA China. Koenig joined the NBA in 1990 and served as the NBA’s Assistant General Counsel before becoming General Counsel of NBA Entertainment in 1993.
Koenig serves on the Board of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the T. Howard Foundation. Prior to joining the NBA, Koenig was associated with the law firm of Proskauer Rose Goetz and Mendelsohn, where he was a litigator who concentrated on professional sports and antitrust matters.
Koenig graduated with honors from Harvard University, the London School of Economics and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Law Review.
Koenig is a native of Hollywood, Fla., and resides in Scarsdale, N.Y.
- JC CangillaNew Form
- Phil KeslinNiantic
Phil Keslin is the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Niantic, Inc., creators of Pokemon GO. Started in early 2011 and Incubated within Google, Phil led the engineering team in exploring the convergence of mobile, geo and social within a range of applications leading up to the launch of Ingress and FieldTrip.
Prior to Niantic, Phil was a contributor to StreetView, GMail and Lively products while at Google. Additionally Phil was a GPU Architect at NVIDIA and a key contributor to the design and development several of their GPUS.
In 2000, Phil joined up with John Hanke to found Keyhole. As its CTO, Phil led the development of the Earthviewer application which would later become Google Earth following the company’s acquisition by Google.
Phil received his MBA from Southern Methodist University and his Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.
- Chad DreasNielsen
Chad Dreas is the Managing director of Nielsen’s US Media Analytics Team. Prior to becoming Managing Director, Chad held the role of Senior Vice President Client Consulting, managing a go to market team of consultants supporting Nielsen’s TV and Digital clients. Chad is also the Executive Sponsor of Nielsen’s SERV ERG, where he works to increase internal and external understanding of the importance of veterans in corporate America.
Chad attended college on a Naval ROTC scholarship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee where he majored in Chemistry and Applied Engineering. Upon graduation he entered the US Naval Nuclear Power program where he spent three years aboard the USS Maryland, an Ohio class nuclear powered submarine, before being transferred to London England as the Aide de Camp to the Deputy Commander Naval Forces Europe.
Following the Navy Chad completed his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School in Philadelphia and upon graduation joined McKinsey and Company in Stamford Connecticut as a management consultant. Chad initially joined Nielsen in 2010 in a Client Service role.
- Greg BoyerPwC
Greg Boyer is the US Entertainment & Media Advisory Leader at PwC bringing to bear over 15 years’ experience across the entertainment, media and communications industries. Greg specializes in helping clients reach breakthrough results by focusing on revenue enhancement, operating model design, performance improvement, business integration, and technology strategy. His clients span advertising, music, broadcasting, publishing, internet services, and sports entertainment. Greg holds a Masters in Business Administration from The George Washington University.
- Alexis OhanianReddit
• Alexis was born in Brooklyn, NY but grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD where he slowly realized his desire to play professional football would potentially not pan out. So, after graduating from UVA, he turned his efforts towards making the internet a better place. In addition to cofounding Reddit, he’s the bestselling author of Without Their Permission, and activist for the open internet. While he is still patiently awaiting the news of his starting position in the NFL, he currently spends his free time investing in startups, passionately cheering on the Washington Redskins, and facetiming his cat, Karma. His mother always told him he was special.
- Kevin LinTwitch
Kevin Lin is a 2004 Yale graduate and COO of Twitch, the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. He was instrumental in the 2011 launch of the platform when he joined Justin.tv in 2008. His role included attracting the site’s largest broadcasters and building out the partnership team among other activities which have helped grow the Twitch brand. Currently more than 100 million gamers gather every month on Twitch to broadcast live video, watch and chat about gaming, making the platform an industry leader.
- Stacey MineroTwitter
- Ralf JacobVerizon
Before being named as president of Verizon Digital Media Services, Ralf served as Chief Revenue Officer for Digital Media Services bringing more than 20 years of technical and executive management experience to the organization. In his two years as CRO he made an immediate impact and helped lead the organization through incredible growth.
Ralf came to DMS through Verizon’s acquisition of UpLynk, an online video platform specializing in the simplification of a broadcaster’s workflow, where he was CEO and co-founder. Prior to his tenure with UpLynk he served as VP of Deluxe Digital Studios where he led the development of new product ideas for Over-The-Top streaming initiatives, building and conceptualizing Second Screen apps for major Hollywood Studios and rolling out token based digital/e-Copy online portals for HBO, Universal Studios and others.
Ralf has an extensive technical background; beginning his career as a software engineer. His ability to thread technology with business strategy along with his proven development track record quickly propelled him into several executive engineering positions with technology companies like Ascent Media, Move Networks, Knowledge Broadcasting and iXL. Ralf spent years building and leading highly effective engineering teams through his passion for technology, creative problem solving and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing industry.
Ralf earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Marketing and Computer Science from Fachhochschule Wiesbaden, Germany and was also a member of the German Olympic diving team.
- Michelle WilsonWWE
Michelle D. Wilson oversees all of the company’s revenue lines, including Consumer Products, Sponsorship Sales, WWE Network and New Business Development. Wilson also oversees Marketing, Corporate Communications, Creative Services, Entertainment Relations, Special Events, Research and Community Relations. In addition, Wilson spearheaded the company’s efforts to launch WWE Network, a direct-to-consumer subscription service.
Wilson has transformed the Company’s approach to annual tent pole events, growing them significantly from single-day occurrences into week-long, revenue-generating events that attract attendees from across the county and around the world. Additionally, Wilson has ushered in a new approach for WWE in sales and sponsorships and has worked to secure key partnerships with blue-chip brands and companies including General Mills, Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, General Motors, Mars, Colgate, Nestle and 7-Eleven. She has also continued to expand WWE’s partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in which WWE performers have granted more than 4,000 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. Wilson has been instrumental in forging new partnerships with Susan G. Komen, Special Olympics, KaBOOM! and Hire Heroes USA.
Prior to WWE, Wilson was the Chief Marketing Officer of the United States Tennis Association, where she was instrumental in making the US Open the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. Wilson developed innovative advertising and promotional campaigns that significantly elevated the image and awareness of tennis in the United States resulting in record television viewership and ticket sales. She was also a pivotal player in the implementation of several innovations for the sport, including in-stadium video screens, blue courts, instant replay and the 2004 launch of the US Open Series.
Wilson oversaw all marketing efforts for the launch of the XFL football league, a partnership between WWE and NBC, prior to working for the USTA. She also held positions at the National Basketball Association (NBA) in its domestic and international consumer products groups. Before her career in the sports industry, Wilson held brand management positions at Nabisco.
In 2009, Wilson was among the “Next Wave of Leaders” recognized by Broadcasting & Cable and was named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” by CableFAX magazine. In 2010, Continental Magazine called Wilson a “Wonder Woman and Driving Force Behind WWE’s Success.” In October 2011, Wilson was also recognized as a “Game Changer: Women in Sports Business” by SportsBusiness Journal and was honored as one of Multichannel News’s “Women to Watch.” In 2013, Wilson was recognized on Sports Illustrated’s list of the 10 most influential women in sports.
Wilson sits on the Board of Directors for the Ad Council and the Stamford, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.
Wilson is a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
- Ben RellesYouTube
In this role Ben oversees development of new shows from some of YouTube’s top talent, including YouTube Red Originals from PewDiePie, Buzzfeed and Rhett & Link. Prior to joining the YouTube Originals team, Ben served as Global Head of Creative Strategy at YouTube, advising channels on how to build loyal audiences and create hit series.
Ben came to YouTube from Next New Networks where he was Vice President of Programming and launched networks including the popular group of Vsauce channels which have over 1 billion views. Ben began working in online video as the founder of the comedy network Barely Political, which has over 2.5 billion views. He received his MBA from The Wharton School of Business and currently lives in Los Angeles.
- Kathy KayseYahoo
Kathy Kayse is the Vice President of Sales Strategy and Solutions at Yahoo. A seasoned industry leader, Kathy has extensive cross-platform advertising sales and strategy experience. Prior to joining Yahoo, she served as Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales at Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) since 2009 where she led the development and execution of advertising sales strategies for the network and its digital assets, including Oprah.com.
Previously, Kathy spent 24 years at Time Warner, including as Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales at AOL. Prior to that, she served as publisher for People, where she and the sales team achieved record success. Kathy also held publisher positions at Money and FSB: Fortune Small Business after serving in various sales capacities at Time Inc. She began her career in media planning at Wells, Rich, Greene, and J. Walter Thompson.
Kathy is a board member of The ADVERTISING Club of New York and a member of the Advertising Women of New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Advertising from University of Illinois.