The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Monday, January 8th, 2018

Session I - DH12

LVCC, North Hall, Room N264

3:30 - 4:30 PM

The Disruption of Internet TV: Programming Everywhere

Netflix, Amazon and YouTube have officially altered the television experience. HDMI and the internet have forever broken the barrier of the cable bundle.  In this panel we will explore the options ranging from a la carte viewing to premium bundles.

Rachel Webber, EVP Digital Product, National Geographic Television

Saul J Berman, Chief Strategist. Vice President & Partner, IBM Global Business Service

John Harran, SVP & head of Digital Distribution, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Turner

Scott Barton, Senior Vice President, Branded Digital Content and Products, Starz

Mitch Weinraub, Director – Product, AirTV L.L.C.

Moderator - David Leibowitz, Managing Partner, CH Potomac


John Harran is senior vice president, head of digital distribution, business development and strategic partnerships for Turner. In this capacity, Harran oversees the multi-platform distribution of Turner’s portfolio of branded

content, drives the strategy for TV Everywhere, as well as expands partnerships across OTT, SVOD, VOD, and AVOD and secures revenue opportunities with new and existing partners including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and Sony. Harran leads efforts with both current and new content distribution partners in the digital marketplace and explores advanced product opportunities within Turner’s global portfolio of brands. Additionally, Harran is responsible for aligning the sales and distribution businesses of Turner. Harran also oversees Turner Private Networks where he is responsible for creating additional revenue-generating opportunities for Turner's out-of-home content business. Harran is based in Atlanta and has a dual reporting role into Donna Speciale, president, Turner Ad Sales for Turner and Jennifer Mirgorod, executive vice president of brand distribution for Turner Content Distribution (TCD). Previously, Harran was vice president of business development & multi-platform distribution, where he focused on the development of TV Everywhere, VOD, and multi-platform distribution strategies with cable, satellite and telco providers, negotiated content deals with pay-TV providers and crafted digital partnerships with consumer electronic manufactures and emerging media companies. A seasoned TV distribution and digital media veteran, Harran worked at Starz Encore as division vice president and led the start up of their Los Angeles new media division; at The Weather Channel, where he launched the distribution efforts across Telco and satellite platforms; at N2 Broadband, where he focused on the development of VOD software platforms; and at Amplified Holdings during the start up and acquisition phase of a business-to-business ecommerce and digital music distribution provider. Harran was recognized in 2016 by Broadcasting & Cable as one of their 2016 Digital All-Stars and by Cablefax as one of the Most Innovative People in Multiscreen. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in business management from Skidmore College.


Rachel Webber serves as Executive Vice President of Digital Product, leading the digital business across National Geographic Partners. She oversees the organization’s product development and technology, audience and community development, and digital storytelling through video initiatives and other digital experiences. Prior to joining National Geographic, Webber served as Senior Vice President, Fox Television Group.  In that position, she was responsible for helping drive new business growth for the Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television. Webber previously managed Fox Networks Group’s digitally-focused corporate development initiatives and non-linear revenue growth strategy, focused on building advertising and technology and data solutions capabilities and collaborating across sales and network teams to create innovative brand sponsorship offerings. Previously, Webber served as Vice President of Video and Head of North America Business Development at Rovio Entertainment where she launched and managed Rovio’s owned-and-operated digital video channel, and as an executive at Tumblr responsible for helping develop the company’s brand-driven revenue products and serving as an ambassador to partners in the entertainment industry. Webber started her career at News Corporation, first serving in the corporate office and helping launch the company’s efforts to reduce its impact on climate change; at Fox Television Studios; and at Australia’s major pay-TV platform, Foxtel.  She graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History.


Saul J. Berman, Ph.D. is Partner & Vice President, Global Service Area Leader for Strategy & Transformation within IBM Global Business Services (GBS). In this role he works closely with major corporations around the globe on strategic business issues. He leads a worldwide team of IBM consultants focused on delivering business value through business, technology and operations strategy engagements as well as organizational change initiatives. Prior to this role, Dr. Berman was the Lead Strategy Partner for the Media and Entertainment Practice as well as a Global Strategy & Change Services Leader at IBM GBS. Before joining IBM, Saul was the Global Strategic Change Leader at PwC Consulting. He was also previously with The Boston Consulting Group, a divisional Vice President with Broadway Department Stores and an Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Southern California. Dr. Berman has more than 25 years of consulting experience advising senior management of large corporate and start-up organizations. He has directed engagements addressing issues of strategy, organization, and operations. He has worked extensively on issues of competitive positioning, differentiation, new business plans & strategies, new business models, growth, operational & cost improvement, operations/ manufacturing strategy, organizational design and enterprise transformation. His clients have included most of the major media companies as well as internet companies, telecommunication companies, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and automotive companies in the United States, Japan, Europe and Australia. Dr. Berman holds a Ph.D. in Management and Information Systems and a MBA in Production Systems and Operations Research from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania,. A frequent speaker to industry and strategic planning organizations such as the World Economic Forum, MIPCOM, Consumer Electronics Association, McGraw Hill Media Summit, the National Association of Broadcasters, Online Publishers Association and Digital Hollywood. Dr. Berman was named as one of the Top 25 Consultants of 2005 by Consulting Magazine & Top 50 Marketing executives over 50 by Global CMO Magazine. He is also an editorial advisory board member for Strategy & Leadership Magazine. Additionally, Dr. Berman served as a board member of the USC Film School Entertainment Technology Center, and of the Southern California chapter of the Strategic Leadership Forum. He has also authored numerous books and publications including Not For Free: Revenue Strategies for a New World, published by Harvard Business Review Press, and the recent IBM studies: “Beyond Digital - Connecting media and entertainment to the future,” IBM Institute for Business Value, 2012 and “The Power of Cloud - Driving business model innovation,” IBM Institute for Business Value, 2012.


Scott Barton is Senior Vice President of Branded Digital Content and Products for Starz. Barton is responsible for leading the programming and product vision at Starz for all on demand, online, digital and consumer-facing video products and platforms. Barton will also identify and develop programming strategies that leverage the Starz catalog across new and emerging platforms. Previously serving as Vice President for Digital and On Demand Programming, Barton oversaw the programming, product development, and promotion of Starz’ advanced services and digital products, including, on demand, STARZ PLAY, and other TV Everywhere services. Barton plays a strategic role in the future development and implementation of new products and business opportunities across emerging platforms. Prior to that, Barton served as Executive Director, Advanced Services product development for the STARZ PLAY and Vongo broadband services.  Including user experience, programming promotion, personalized content discovery, registration purchase flow, and deployment with affiliates. Prior to that, Barton was Director, Subscription Video-On-Demand during the period when STARZ ON DEMAND was initially sold in and deployed to key Starz distributors. Prior to joining Starz in 2002, Barton served as Director, National Accounts for On Command, the leading provider of in-room interactive entertainment, Internet services, business information and guest services for the lodging industry and its guests. While at On Command, Barton helped negotiate multi-year partnership agreements and contractual arrangements for all Marriott full service and limited lodging brands, the Adam’s Mark Hotel chain, and others. Barton holds a BA in Economics from the University of California, Davis.


Mitch Weinraub, Director - Advanced Video Products, Dish Network: Mitch is a strategic leader in the media technology space. In his 20+ years with Comcast, Primestar (purchased by DirecTV in 1999), Insight Communications (purchased by TWC in 2012) and DISH Network he has held roles in product development, business development, new media and operations management. Regardless of title, Mitch usually focuses on the invention, business case development, construction and launch of new technology products or new lines of business. Mitch has had papers published by the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable Television association and the Society of Cable Television engineers.


David E. Leibowitz is Managing Partner of CH POTOMAC, working at the intersection of entertainment, media and technology and focused on bringing new innovative ways for people to enjoy and experience content.  David brings many years of experience in business, law and policy issues facing the entertainment, new media, CE and IT industries.  Among other activities, David is a Senior Advisor to Gibson Brands (parent company of such iconic brands as Gibson Guitar, Baldwin, Onkyo, Philips Home Entertainment and TEAC); Co-founder and Chairman of Sir Groovy (an award-winning solution for creating enhanced search metadata for musical recordings); Co-Chairman of Golden Shores Enterprises (a marketing and advertising technology firm that utilizes point of sale consumer data to deliver hyper-local digital advertising and lifestyle content across multiple digital platforms); and Chairman of Moonrider (an interactive advertising and content generation company whose platform is used to create engaging “magnetic” HTML5 and iOS experiences for tablets, smartphones, and other interactive devices).  David also serves as a member of the CEO Advisory Board of The Silverfern Group (a merchant bank specializing in buy-side M&A opportunities) and as Chairman of the Advisory Board of FIGHTER Interactive (a transmedia strategy and marketing services company for celebrities and brands).  In recent years, David has served as an Advisor to The SingTel Group (Asia’s leading provider of telecom, data and media services in 25 countries); as a Senior Advisor to Motorola Mobility; as Chairman of EZMO (one of the early cloud-based music social network and storage locker services operating in Europe); as Executive Vice President of Gotuit Media (a leading provider of premium metadata based video tools – since acquired by TiVO via Digitalsmiths); and as an Advisor to others in the content and technology industries.  Earlier in his career, David co-founded and served as Chairman and Co-CEO of Verance (the preeminent audio watermark technology provider used by the motion picture, music, CE and IT industries to protect, manage, and monitor the use of audio and audiovisual content); was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Recording Industry Association of America; was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Wiley & Rein; served as Policy Planning Advisor to the Register of Copyrights for the U.S. Copyright Office; and as an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami Law School, and at the Communications Law Institute of the Columbus School of Law (Catholic University).