Pan’s expertise with multiplatform distribution and her ability to reach streaming consumers spurred the growth of Sundance Now and the Shudder SVOD service, both of which doubled their subscribers in 2017. “We are seeing seismic shifts in the content industry as technology disintermediates traditional forms of distribution,” she says. “What excites me are the opportunities to build closer customer relationships that I believe will ultimately define the media and content businesses of the future.”
What’s a recent example of a step forward for women in the media industry?
I think with each step of representation and recognition of female talent both on the screen and behind the scenes, especially in decision-making roles, we are making strides forward. I feel so proud to work at the company that brought the amazing “Killing Eve” (on BBC America) to the US audience. Not only is it the first scripted series in more than a decade to grow its linear audience week over week, it also led Sandra Oh to be the first Asian woman ever to be nominated for an Emmy in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category. As an Asian American woman, that’s great to see. “Killing Eve” demonstrates that diversity on screen can also mean both critical and commercial success.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
Three years ago, there were 75 million global Netflix subscribers and nearly 100 million US pay TV households. Today there are 130 million global Netflix subscribers and 94M US pay TV households, plus many more new and upcoming entrants into the marketplace. We are seeing seismic shifts in the content industry as technology disintermediates traditional forms of distribution. There are certainly challenges to work through. What excites me are the opportunities to build closer customer relationships that I believe will ultimately define the media and content businesses of the future.
Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
I just finished reading Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by the comedian Patricia Williams. I found her to be incredibly inspirational. She tells a funny and moving coming of age story of being the fifth child of an alcoholic single mother in Atlanta, at the height of the crack epidemic. Then becoming a mother of two at age 15, and her subsequent career as a drug dealer before turning her life around and becoming a successful comedian. I deeply admire her way of looking at life, through the lens of honesty, humor, hustle, and most importantly, love.