Sony wires up Caraeff

Exec to o'see new mobile applications development, distrib'n

Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment has tapped Rio Caraeff to serve as veep of the company’s wireless efforts.

Caraeff becomes the first person to officially head up the studio’s wireless entertainment services initiative within the company’s recently created Digital Networks Division.

He will oversee the development and distribution of new mobile applications, such as games based around Sony’s film and television properties, for current and emerging wireless technologies and platforms. Projects will be distribbed via partnerships with wireless carriers, device manufacturers and infrastructure providers.

In addition, the Wireless Services group will work with SPDE Europe to penetrate the international mobile marketplace and with inhouse gaming group Sony Online Entertainment to extend its game library, which includes “EverQuest,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!,” to the wireless arena.

First titles to come out of the group are expected to be “Charlie’s Angels Mobile Adventure” and “Men in Black 2: Alien Control” for Sony Ericsson’s Java-enabled Z700 color cell phone, which will be available throughout Europe and Asia this year.

Other content offerings will range from simple graphics for wallpaper and film and television logos to more interactive and robust services such as messaging services and film trailers.

Caraeff reports to Tim Chambers, senior vice president of SPDE’s Advanced Platforms group.

“The global wireless marketplace is a vibrant arena,” said Yair Landau, prexy of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. “We recognize value in wireless services as another way to engage and entertain consumers and are looking forward to our audiences having an additional channel to the studio.”

Prior to joining SPDE, Caraeff was the managing partner and co-founder of Fabric, a media and technology consultancy firm. Before that, he held senior positions in new business development and technology at Sony 550 Digital Media Ventures, Sony Music Entertainment and Capitol Records.

Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment oversees Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment, the Digital Networks Division (which includes SoapCity and Screenblast) and Spin, which represents the studio’s online promotional presence.

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