×

Third Annual Variety500 Unveiled: The 500 Most Important People in Global Media

As the year draws to a close, there’s a natural impulse in all of us to look back on the previous 12 months to see how far we’ve come in our careers. There’s no better benchmark to measure your success against than Variety500, our annual collection of the world’s most impactful people working in media today (full list available here).

2019 is a particularly interesting time to be taking stock of who the most influential names are across the industry because it’s been a period of incredible disruption. Look anywhere around the media landscape and you’ll see profound change in progress, from the megadeals rapidly consolidating some already fairly large companies to the emergence of a new class of product — streaming services — that represent some of the biggest gambles Hollywood has ever made. The high stakes couldn’t be clearer: The organizations that don’t make the right moves in the next few years may not be around much longer.

That’s why being a strong leader in this industry has never mattered more. If there’s some common threads that weave together the many different individuals who make up our 500 honorees this year, it’s that they possess the skills that help multibillion-dollar enterprises navigate uncertain times. The true greats never stand pat and always keep moving forward. Rather than accepting the status quo, they adapt and innovate with their ability to see around the corners that most mere mortals don’t notice.

We continue to innovate the Variety500 list as well, fine-tuning our approach to the difficult task of recognizing excellence across an incredibly broad range of people and companies across the globe. The gender split continues to even out, as female honorees climbed nearly 8% from last year; representation of several key minority groups has also improved over 2018. For more on our internal selection process, you can view a full rundown here.

Now in its third year, Variety500 is still young but already showing signs of taking root in the industry as a badge of honor for the industry elite. Inclusion on the list is popping up in more executive bios than ever, and the lobbying for consideration has reached a fever pitch over here at Variety HQ. What once was a frenzy of phone calls and e-mails from publicists over the course of a month or two has now become a year-round affair. Regardless of whether it’s March or November, Variety500 editors are always happy to hear a pitch. Feel free to send one to EIC@variety.com; the road to the 2020 edition begins now!

More Biz

  • EFM 1st European Film Politics Seminar

    Berlin: 1st European Film Politics Seminar - Protecting Independent Film Production

    Leading industry reps gathered on the opening day of Berlin’s European Film Market for what is certain to be a continuing discussion about leveling the playing field for independent producers across Europe and demanding greater engagement in the sector from global players. The 1st European Film Politics Seminar aims to set the political agenda of [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein (C) arrives to New

    Harvey Weinstein Jury Note Stirs Frenzied Speculation on Verdict

    A note from the jury in the Harvey Weinstein trial on Friday afternoon set the media and legal worlds abuzz with speculation about the verdict. The note suggested that the jurors were deadlocked on the two most serious charges — predatory sexual assault — but had reached a unanimous consensus on three other counts, of [...]

  • Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior

    Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior VP of A&R

    In what may be the first signal of the next era of Def Jam Recordings, Naim McNair has been named senior VP of A&R at the company. The move comes just hours after it was confirmed that Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of the label since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the [...]

  • Paul Rosenberg

    Paul Rosenberg Stepping Down as Head of Def Jam

    UPDATED: Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the company, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. Jeff Harleston, general counsel for Def Jam parent company Universal Music Group, will serve as interim chief until a new CEO is appointed; he will [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content