Growth of digital platforms prompt Disney to consolidate homevid distribution of films, TV shows under one executive
The Walt Disney Studios has promoted Janice Marinelli to oversee how the company releases its films, TV shows and other projects across physical and digital platforms.
It’s the latest move by a studio to consolidate both physical and digital under the management of one executive as the amount of digital dollars have grown to become a more important source of revenue for Hollywood.
Marinelli will now serve as president, Disney studio global in-home and digital distribution and Disney ABC North America content distribution.
It’s a mouthful of a title that essentially means Marinelli will manage the releases of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Touchstone across all platforms outside of the theatrical window.
She reports to studio president Alan Bergman.
Marinelli will continue to release TV shows from ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment, ABC Family, Disney Channel, and first-run syndication in the U.S. and Canada for Disney-ABC Television Group, reporting to ABC TV Global Distribution president Ben Pyne.
“Throughout her tenure at Disney, Janice has proven herself to be a tremendous leader and innovator who continues to push boundaries in the rapidly diversifying in-home space,” Bergman said. “Consolidating our physical and digital business under her direction enables us to further optimize our content across multiple platforms and provide the best and most seamless experiences for our consumers.”
Marinelli’s team will manage the sale and licensing of content across electronic home video, residential and hotel video-on-demand, subscription VOD, pay TV, basic cable, broadcast TV, online and other digital technologies.
Lori MacPherson, executive VP of home entertainment and Jason Brenek, senior VP of international in-home sales report to Marinelli.
Marinelli has led domestic distribution at Disney-ABC Television since 1999. Last year, she negotiated a deal with Netflix making the streaming service the exclusive U.S. subscription TV service for Disney’s first-run live-action and animated films in the pay window, beginning with those released theatrically in 2016. She also broke new ground with a Netflix deal for exclusive streaming rights for ABC series including “Scandal,” “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”
On the TV front, she also oversaw the launch and syndication of Katie Couric’s talk show “Katie,” and the successful relaunch of “Live with Kelly and Michael,” and brokered a licensing agreement with Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment to bring the ABC Family brand to Canada, under the ABC Spark banner.
Disney’s consolidation of the homevid department follows Universal’s move in May to tap Peter Levinsohn as president and chief distribution officer, overseeing worldwide home entertainment, new media and digital strategy, technology, and international and domestic television distribution.
Also in May, Ron Sanders became president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution, expanding his role to include digital, VOD and electronic sell-through, as well.