Joe Arancio — SVP, Sony Entertainment
written by Tina Tyler
SVP Digital Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Joe Arancio is not your typical entertainment studio power titan. He doesn’t wear the mantle of success for all to see. He isn’t surrounded by minions and doesn’t have a “yes man” in sight. Instead, his brilliance is a blend of California surfer, psychologist, and tech junkie, with a youthful curiosity for, well, everything—all the attributes of a great media executive.
“I grew up in Manhattan Beach, California, and always had a curious mind,” says the unassuming mogul. “Life was about being outside and playing sports! My mother is a Ph.D. psychologist; my father is an attorney and part-time artist. My older brother is a PGA Golf Pro—an amazing athlete. I grew up with the Bond franchise being my favorite. It helped me in discovering my first love of gadgets and how technology can enhance life.”
That love of gadgetry influenced his career path, no doubt; today, Arancio’s position as SPHE’s SVP of digital distribution puts him at the convergence of tech and Tinseltown. “In the mid 90s, I was writing business plans and working on my own as a consultant while I was figuring out my future career. This was the start of the Internet boom, and my network was from San Francisco to San Diego I was diving in and finding ways to help ideas get on paper, many of the hottest ideas at the time were Internet related,” he recalls. “The more I dove in, the more I was fascinated and wanted to do and know more. This led to my taking a full-time position for a start-up in product development. I was in and hooked!”
With degrees in communications, psychology, and organizational behavior, Arancio built a foundation for distributing compelling content. “I see it [his education] as a study of expressing yourself and the ability to understand others,” he opines. “From there, anything is possible. I always knew that I was going to be in the business in some way but, like almost all of us, the path is not obvious from the start. That’s the fun part the journey!”
For a creative mind like Mr. Arancio, the future is an exciting thing. “Today Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is having great success with genre-specific content. Movies like Pineapple Express, Superbad, Step Brothers, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and House Bunny are all performing extremely well online,” he reveals. “Young, next generation consumers are creating their digital libraries. Hits catered to that audience are really seeing results. The digital content is portable and is being played back on multiple screens. The new mobile phones have amazing screens and the quality is incredible. This is a trend we only see growing. It’s fun to work with the handset manufacturer to see the latest devices and great content being enjoyed in new and exciting ways! I am a fan of new ways to get content and the flexibility it allows. ‘Anytime, anywhere’ is a motto that is often used!”