President, Global Content Sales and Distribution, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International
Janice Marinelli serves as president of global content sales and distribution, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International. She is responsible for The Walt Disney Company’s program sales operations, which includes global distribution of film and television content to the upcoming Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service Disney+, Hulu, Movies Anywhere and other third-party platforms and distribution channels. Marinelli and her sales and distribution teams work to maximize Disney’s opportunities in domestic and international media markets by providing high-quality content created by Disney’s Studio Entertainment and Media Networks groups. Under her direction, the division distributes properties from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Disneynature, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment, WABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior to broadcasters, digital services and other distributors around the world.
Marinelli and her team pursue key licensing agreements for the studio’s films with MVPDs and digital retailers including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Comcast XFinity, AT&T, Vudu and Google Play. She and her team also secure digital licensing opportunities for the company’s television assets, with deals currently in place with iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV and PlayStation, among many others.
Fueled by the studio’s remarkable box office success, the division has strategically leveraged new technologies and created a superior in-home viewing experience for its customers to drive ownership across both digital and physical under Marinelli’s leadership. Her team also develops product and marketing strategies for its portfolio of brands and franchises across all in-home platforms. This year Disney continues to set and break in-home records unrivaled by any other studio with Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Coco topping the U.S. digital and physical sales charts. Most recently, the division vigorously expanded into the 4K Ultra HD premium format and her team also manages the re-releases of all classic titles from the vault as part of The Walt Disney Signature Collection.
In October 2017, Marinelli spearheaded the unprecedented multi-studio launch of Movies Anywhere, a free app and website that brings the film libraries of five studios together in a virtual one-stop movie-watching shop. Marinelli and her team brokered deals with Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. to join The Walt Disney Studios in the initiative. She also led successful negotiations with digital retailers Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, FandangoNOW and Microsoft Movies & TV to participate in the cloud-based service.
Under Marinelli’s leadership in 2012, the company entered into a groundbreaking multi-year licensing agreement with Netflix, making them the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for Disney’s films in the pay window for theatricals released between 2016 and 2018. In addition, the company (in conjunction with Fox) released all six of the original epic “Star Wars” films on Digital HD in 2015 under Marinelli’s direction.
With Marinelli at the helm, the organization also licenses television programming from The Disney-ABC Television Group portfolio throughout North America, distributing first-run and off-network content across multiple outlets and platforms including broadcast television, cable and subscription video-on-demand. The group’s first-run lineup of television programming includes Live with Kelly and Ryan and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and the company recently announced that it is in development with Tamron Hall on a daytime talk show for fall 2019. In 2015 Marinelli and her team secured the largest SVOD deal at that time for an off-network TV show with the sale of the enormously successful hit How to Get Away with Murder to Netflix and most recently, Marinelli oversaw a massive multi-platform syndication deal for ABC’s hit comedy series black-ish across broadcast syndication, cable and Hulu.
Marinelli joined The Walt Disney Company’s Buena Vista Television in 1985 as an account executive. She later served as director of sales, western division before assuming the role of senior vice president of sales. She was named the executive vice president in 1996 and president in 1999. Marinelli was appointed as president of Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution in 2013 and was promoted to her current role in March of this year.