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Born Digital: Unraveling the New Age of Media & Entertainment Consumers

Friday October 27, 2017

11 am - 4 pm

Berkeley-haas Andersen Auditorium



10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Arrival and Registration

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

>Play Talks: Unraveling the new age of media & entertainment consumers

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

AI at >Play: The impact of machine learning and the importance of data strategy

Lunch and Networking

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

>Play Off: Coopetition in Media & Entertainment

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

State of >Play: How traditional media is surviving and thriving in the digital age

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

SEssion Descriptions


>Play Talk: Unraveling the New Age of Media & Entertainment Consumers

Digital technologies have fundamentally transformed consumers. The new age consumer desires a larger variety of original, personalized content, which is available to her on-demand. The manner and modes of consumption have diversified dramatically. Traditional programming will give way to new social media and mobile platforms, as well as the allure of AR/VR. Digital technologies are the core of this disruption across the value chain in content creation, distribution, marketing and monetization. In this session, we will hear from an industry leader about macro trends, consumers, products, and the societal goals of business as they strive to stay ahead in this new age of digital media & entertainment.


>Play Off: Innovation & Coopetition in Media & Entertainment

In this new era of emerging platforms, OTT content and digital targeting, traditional media and entertainment companies cannot rely solely on their historical bases of advantage, such as scale and relationships, to remain relevant. To avoid becoming victims, they need to be the creators of disruption. To make changes in their growth trajectories and business portfolios, in addition to internal innovation, they need to engage in M&A, partnerships, and other external moves that integrate them into a wider innovation ecosystem.


AI at >Play: Impact of Machine Learning and Data Strategy in Media & Entertainment

A multitude of delivery channels and the option of on-demand access has significantly increased the complexity of delivering the right content, to the right consumer, at the right time and place. Only companies that understand and address consumer preferences much more effectively will outlast its competition. Sophisticated machine learning on rich user data will be the competitive edge. The implications for the industry comes inherently from the companies driving AI – Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft. All four have major investments in media and entertainment.


State of >Play: How traditional media is surviving and thriving in the digital age

Digital disruption has had a profound impact on the content-creation sector of the industry. In this session, we learn from industry executives on how media and content companies are leveraging technology platforms and tools to survive in the digital age.



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Manuel Bronstein, VP of Product Management at Youtube

Manuel Bronstein is VP of Product Management at YouTube overseeing mobile, desktop and living room applications, as well as Live, Growth and Community. He is also an active investor and advisor to consumer tech companies. Before joining YouTube, Manuel led several games and platform at Zynga, and was part of the team that developed and grew Xbox 360 at Microsoft. Bronstein’s career started at P&G's in Venezuela. Manuel holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from USB in Venezuela and an MBA from Haas.



Chris Becherer, Former VP of Product, Pandora

Chris Becherer has spent the last 20 years in product, marketing, and engineering roles at various digital media and technology companies. Most recently, he was Pandora's Vice President of Product, where he led all of the company’s listener-facing product development efforts, including Pandora Premium, the $9.99 on-demand subscription introduced earlier this year. Becherer was previously the SVP of Product at Rdio and oversaw the design, strategy and management of Rdio’s entire suite of products through its acquisition by Pandora in 2015. Before Rdio, Chris spent seven years in Apple’s Product Marketing group, leading the launch of several iOS apps including iMessage and Passbook. He began his career as the Chicago market college rep for Virgin Records, where he helped break and promote key EDM artists on the Astralwerks label. While at Haas, Chris co-founded DMEC, assembled the music panel at the inaugural Play Conference and co-produced the Afghan Music Project, a charity album benefiting music education in Afghanistan.


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Chris Carvalho, Former COO of Kabam

Chris Carvalho is a digital media board member and C-level executive who has set strategy, enabled disruptive revenue growth, and maintained rigorous operational focus as an executive team member at some of the fastest growing (Kabam, a mobile gaming company which grew from ~$2M to ~$360M in revenue in Chris' tenure as COO) and most iconic (Lucasfilm) companies in the world. He is currently a board member at Roblox and G5 Entertainment, is an advisor for several startups and is especially passionate about the intersection of entertainment and technology.


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Mark Coopersmith, UC Berkeley Faculty in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Mark Coopersmith an entrepreneur, Fortune 500 executive, author, and educator. A Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, he teaches innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership to current and future leaders at Cal and around the world. He has built and run global businesses for Sony and Newell Rubbermaid, has launched and built successful Silicon Valley startups, and is a frequent keynote speaker and moderator. His entrepreneurship students and teams have launched more than 100 ventures globally.


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David Anderman, Chief Business Officer and Advisor at Jaunt VR

David Anderman is a seasoned executive with a passion for business strategy and dealmaking at the intersection of the technology, media/entertainment, and consumer product sectors.  He serves as an advisor and board member for numerous media and technology startups.  Mr. Anderman spent 16 years at Lucasfilm Ltd., George Lucas’s entertainment empire, starting as the junior lawyer and rising through the ranks to become Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, overseeing the businesses of Lucasfilm and its subsidiaries, including Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts, Lucas Licensing, and Lucasfilm Animation.  He negotiated the $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm by the Walt Disney Company, and oversaw the integration of the companies for 18 months post-merger.  Mr. Anderman most recently served as the Chief Business Officer of Jaunt, a cinematic virtual reality company, where he was responsible for development of the company’s strategy, finance, business development, business affairs, and HR. He launched Jaunt’s content studio, its joint venture in China with Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital, and raised over $125M in capital for the business.  Prior to Lucasfilm, Mr. Anderman was an IP litigator in Silicon Valley, focusing on technology matters.

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Yalda Sharifie, Founder of Yalda Media

Yalda Sharifie is a three-time Emmy Award winning producer and the founder of Yalda Media. She started her career in the media at CBS2 in Palm Springs as a producer. While in the desert, Yalda covered the Esperanza Fire and the death of President Gerald Ford for which she earned an Emmy. In 2007, Yalda left Southern California to produce the very popular morning show "Good Day Sacramento." While in Sacramento she covered the 2009 elections, the Jaycee Lee Dugard case and the Roseville Mall Fire, which earned her a second Emmy Nomination. In 2011, Yalda moved to San Diego to produce the primetime local evening news. During her first year there, she earned another Emmy Award for producing a News Special on the 10 Year Anniversary of 9/11. While in San Diego she earned her third Emmy Award in 2015 for her Team Coverage of "Wild Weather." Her passion for producing television programs over the last decade is the driving force behind Yalda Media. She had a vision years ago, to create original programming that caters to all audiences around the globe and now she is dedicated to delivering that vision. Yalda created "My Human Case," the first original program with Yalda Media in 2015. The program was nominated for an Emmy Award. Yalda was born in Iran and left the country when she was three-years-old. She speaks Spanish and fluent Farsi.


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Steve Weinstein, President and CEO at MovieLabs (R&D arm of 6 major Hollywood studios)

With a background that spans technology, product development, and entertainment, Steve Weinstein has been focused on where media meets technology. Currently Steve is the founder and CEO of MovieLabs. Steve is also the co-founder of KineTrope a small design shop for small consumer and professional electronics. Additionally, Steve is currently teaching entrepreneurship at U.C. Berkeley Haas and at Stanford.

Previously, Steve served as CTO of Deluxe Entertainment, a 6,000 person post production house, and CTO at Rovi Corporation where he guided the transition from physical technologies to e-commerce, connected home, secure and subscription services. Additionally, Steve held the role of Chief Technology Officer at Vicinity, a mapping company acquired by Microsoft in 2002. Steve was also a founding executive and Chief Strategist and Technologist at Liberate Technologies, an interactive television software company. Further back in his career, Steve held executive-level positions at Microprose/Spectrum HoloByte (game company), Electronics for Imaging (print processing), and Media Cybernetics (image processing). Steve also was chief architect at Ship Analytics for real time ship, sub and helicopter trainers. Steve started his career at Naval Research Laboratory in the area of advanced signal processing, computer language design, and real time os development.


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Dave Williams, Partner, Chameleon

Dave is a partner at Chameleon where he advises clients on product and growth strategies. Prior to joining Chameleon, he spent 25 years creating and innovating new products and leading teams at Fortune 500 companies and category-leading startups alike. His passion and sweet spots are identifying and engaging with emerging opportunities and markets, including many in digital media. Dave’s roles have included: SVP & GM of Games at Viacom, CEO of social media startup We Heart It, co-founder and head of product at Rhapsody/, CMO at Atom Entertainment, and top marketing and strategy roles at DoubleClick and CitySearch. Dave brings a strategic, analytically driven approach to every business challenge he takes on and loves to “solving the puzzle” of unlocking growth in new and existing markets. He brings particular expertise in digital content and social media where he has scaled multiple online businesses to reach tens of millions of users. Dave’s latest startup is, an online content platform that brings both longstanding and emerging mindfulness techniques to users around the world.

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Jack Kloster, EVP of Business and Corporate Development, Tongal

Jack Kloster is an entrepreneur and media executive with domain expertise that crosses content development, media, marketing and advertising technologies. Jack is currently EVP of Business & Corporate Development for Tongal, an award winning creative company that has built a global network of 120,000+ writers, directors and animators to design content strategies and execute TV, Digital and Film production for Fortune 500 brands. In 2005, Jack co-founded Yardbarker, a sports and celebrity media company that was funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Hall of Fame NFL players. Yardbarker was named a Top 50 Web property by Time Magazine, resided in the ComScore 100 and was acquired by Fox Sports in 2010. Post-acquisition, Jack led Media Business Development for Twitter responsible for Twitter’s News, Sports, TV and Politics verticals as well as for Twitter’s Media Technology Ecosystem. Jack earned his MBA from the Haas School of Business (’06) and during his tenure co-founded DMEC.

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Roopesh Varier, Vice President, Data Science & Analytics, Roku Inc.

Roopesh Varier is the Vice President of Data Science & Analytics at Roku. In this role, Roopesh heads data-related efforts including leveraging and analyzing data to provide customers with a better, more personalized user experience. Prior to Roku, Roopesh has worked in the data science & analytics field in various industries including finance at American Express, security at Symantec and computer networking at Blue Coat. He holds several patents in the technology arena and acts as an advisor to various data related startups. Roopesh is an alum of Haas School of Business and holds an M.S in Computer Science from RPI, NY.


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Greg LaBlanc, UC Berkeley Faculty in Finance, Strategy, and Law


Andersen Auditorium

2220 Piedmont Avenue, berkeley, ca 94720


The Berkeley-Haas Andersen Auditorium is located on the Berkeley-Haas campus in Berkeley.

By BART: Nearest BART stop is the Downtown Berkeley BART Station. From the BART station you can take the bus or walk (about 1 mile).

By BUS: The AC Transit bus lines with the closest stops are 51B on either College Avenue or Bancroft Way.

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Photos from past >Play Conferences




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Digital Media & Entertainment Club

Haas School of BUsiness

University of California, Berkeley