It’s not a stretch to call Michele Edelman, with her 30-year career at the forefront of some of the biggest innovations in digital content distribution, a cable industry and technology pioneer.
From her stints at Warner Bros., marketing and distributing the studio’s movies and events during the early days of linear pay-per-view, to her current role at Premiere Digital Services, where she is helping to script the future of digital content distribution, Edelman has been at the forefront of the digital TV revolution.
“It’s great to see Michele recognized with this amazing group of Wonder Women,” said Steve Rosenberg, chief commercial officer for Premiere Digital, which offers content aggregation, management and distribution services for media and entertainment companies. “We have been fortunate to have her on our team and as the driving force behind Premiere Digital’s brand identity/awareness and growth efforts.”
Growing up in upstate New York, Edelman initially thought her career path would be in business operations for her family’s manufacturing company before she set her sights on a marketing and advertising career. While at the University of Rhode Island, Edelman got her first taste of the entertainment industry in the Warner Communications summer internship program.
“My first job was at DC Comics working on press kits, and then I worked at Geffen Records,” Edelman said.
The following summer she went to work with Warner Bros., aiding them in licensing movies and event content to pay-per-view distributors like Request TV and Viewer’s Choice, as well as to hotels. “It was there that I learned about the pay TV business,” she said.
After graduating from college in 1989, she would settle in at Warner Bros. for the next four years before moving to Los Angeles to work for the The Walt Disney Co.
As the cable industry expanded into digital, Edelman would transition to Request Television to handle the PPV content purveyor’s expanding distribution offering that included numerous digital channels.
“Digital cable really launched everything and introduced user interfaces and video menus to the consumer,” Edelman said.
After a stint at the upstart Classic Sports Network, Edelman returned to Warner Bros. in 1999 as VP of worldwide marketing, programming and acquisitions for the company’s digital distribution division, overseeing the company’s pay-per-view distribution and marketing efforts. She would advance to VP of worldwide direct-to-consumer marketing, helping launch one of the industry’s first subscription video-on-demand sites that featured archival Warner Bros. movies and other content.
It was at Warner Bros. that Edelman said she benefited from the counsel of several mentors, including executives Jeffrey Bernstein, Lisa Gregorian and Darcy Antonellis.
Passion for Distribution
Edelman would stay at VOD’s forefront when she joined pay-per-view content distributor Vubiquity in 2014 as VP of marketing and content strategy. After a sale to Amdocs in 2018, Edelman in 2020 moved on to content aggregation and distribution company Premiere Digital Services, where she is head of growth.
“I wanted to get back into distribution,” she said. “There’s two sides of the entertainment business: production and distribution. I like the ability to deploy a product on a wide scale and cast a wide net.”
Going forward, Edelman said she looks forward to continuing to work and evolve within an industry that reaches so many people with so many technically enhanced entertainment options. She also hopes to serve as a mentor to those looking to advance their careers.
“I want to be doing something that I love and work with and for great people,” she said. “Entertainment does so much for so many people, and it’s nice to know that I helped provide services that people could take advantage of and feel comfortable with.” ▪️
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.