- Business Insider named 10 media executives to its list of 100 people transforming business.
- They include a documentary boss ushering in a golden age, a founder scaring audiences out of their minds, and a CEO making subscriptions work.
- See the full list of the 100 people transforming business here.
The media industry is in the midst of a grand convergence: tech behemoths, telecoms, startups, and storied Hollywood giants are competing to define the new era of entertainment and news.
There are fortunes to be won and lost, mega-deals to be made, traditional gatekeepers to be smashed, and new forms to pioneer.
We selected 10 visionaries who are leading innovation in an industry that has, after a decade of disruption by the internet, finally begun to be fundamentally remade by it.
Read on to see the 10 people transforming media.
Profiles compiled by Jason Guerrasio, Travis Clark, Lucia Moses, and Nathan McAlone.
Jason Blum, the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, has perfected a low risk, high reward model to produce a box-office-hit empire
If you got scared out of your mind at a movie theater in the past 12 years, you probably have Jason Blum to blame.
From the “Paranormal Activity” movies to the current collaborations with M. Night Shyamalan (“Split,” “Glass”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out,” “Us”), not to mention successfully relaunching the “Halloween” franchise last year, Blum’s Blumhouse Productions has proved time and again that movies with budgets in the low seven figures can create box-office magic.
To date, its movies have made more than $4 billion worldwide.
But after more than a decade scratching and clawing to become one of the most bankable producers in Hollywood, Blum is not content.
He’s shown that his tastes are diverse, producing Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” which marked his third movie to get a best-picture Oscar nomination (others are “Whiplash” and “Get Out”). And late last year he signed a deal with Amazon Studios to make eight movies for the behemoth. It was the first deal of its kind done by Amazon.
“The goal is to be independent so we can tell the stories we want to tell without asking permission,” Blum told Business Insider. “Happily, as each year goes by, we get closer and closer to that.”
Alex Blumberg and Matthew Lieber, the founders of Gimlet Media, are spearheading a podcast boom
The New York podcasting company Gimlet Media has skyrocketed to success in a short time and become the gold standard for podcast-content innovation.
Alex Blumberg and Matthew Lieber founded the company in 2014, and it has since produced over 25 podcasts, including “Crimetown,” “Uncivil,” and “Homecoming,” which Amazon adapted last year into a TV series starring Julia Roberts for Prime Video.
And Gimlet’s rise should continue. Spotify bought Gimlet in February for over $200 million and plans to use it to help in its big plans to shake up the podcasting market.
“To me the driving factor was, will this be better for the work we’re trying to do?” Blumberg recently told Recode of the acquisition. “And will this be better for the employees that have trusted us to come to the company? And then in the back of that there is this like, and if we don’t do this, there is that fear of it could all go up in smoke, and all the work will be for naught.”
David Frankel and Daniel Katz, the founders of A24, have focused on auteur-driven content to grab the attention of every big name in Hollywood — and Apple)
A24, the movie production and distribution company started by industry veterans David Frankel, Daniel Katz, and John Hodges — Hodges left the company in 2018 — has pulled off the remarkable: making general audiences care about independent films in an era when Marvel superheroes and “Star Wars” rule.
From its early releases like Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” to Academy Award-winning titles like “Room” — which earned Brie Larson an Oscar — and the upset best-picture for “Moonlight,” Frankel and Katz find stories that can grab a wide variety of audiences.
And A24 is about to make the industry even more jealous. Its multiyear partnership with Apple to produce a slate of original titles for the tech giant means more people are going to be watching the unique movies that Frankel and Katz’s company have become the trailblazers of.
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