SONY

Jill Allen

Senior Vice President
Digital Distribution
Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Entertainment

I believe Sony is the perfect company to be a pioneer.

Evolving with the Industry

In my role, I sit at the intersection of content and technology, delivering Sony Pictures Entertainment’s iconic movies and TV shows to consumers in their homes and on their devices. As SVP of Digital Distribution, I oversee our U.S. electronic sell-through (EST) and VOD businesses across all retailers. My team and I regularly collaborate with technology companies to enhance the movie-watching experience via emerging technical capabilities. In the beginning, I worked with physical retailers, where our movies were sold on DVDs and Blu-rays at the time. I worked to create incentive deals with them so that they could sell more of our movies. Then I moved over to this new digital group that was almost like a start-up within Sony Pictures. Because I had experience selling to physical retailers, I was able to partner with some of those established companies as they launched their digital services. For example, I worked with one of our largest digital customers by giving strategic guidance on how to grow their business based on what I was seeing across the marketplace. I’ve been able to grow throughout my career at Sony Pictures as the industry has evolved. It’s been a pleasure to be part of the transformation of our digital business as it has grown from a start-up to a significant revenue contributor to the studio.

Being multicultural is core to my identity.

The Voice of the Hispanic Community

Growing up in the U.S., Spain, England, Mexico, and Colombia, I have a unique multicultural background. With strong family ties to the U.S. and Colombia, I am fluent in English and Spanish. Over the past five years, I’ve tapped into this background as Executive Sponsor for SPE’s Hispanic EBRG (Employee Business Resource Group), VOZ. VOZ, which translates to “voice” in English, hosts events such as panel discussions and lunches throughout the year to bring together people from these communities and build awareness. At the same time, the Hispanic community provides a voice when Sony Pictures is making movies or featuring artists in the Hispanic community. They are internal experts that the company goes to for ideas and to solicit input. It’s very involved, but it adds value to our work because it’s one thing to do your job, but I think connecting with these communities brings a lot of meaning. Through VOZ, I’ve had the opportunity to shape Sony Pictures’ efforts to engage with its Hispanic population, which is an incredibly valuable resource to our company on many levels.

Presenting at the Sony Pictures Impact Awards

Paving the Way for Generations to Come

I have always been passionate about the entertainment industry, so when I was in college, I interned at the news production division of a TV channel. After graduating and then studying at business school, I worked at a luxury goods company and then at an entertainment company for a few years before I started at Sony Pictures. I am the first generation of women in my family to pursue higher education and have a career. I never saw the opportunity to pursue higher education as an option because when I looked around growing up, I saw few female executives. My mother only went to high school, and my grandmother didn’t even finish high school. She wanted to be a doctor but could never pursue her education. And so, of all the generations of women in my family, I’m the first to graduate from college and attend business school, which was just an incredible opportunity. One of my main goals now is to become a role model. I want to open doors and provide a path for new generations to pursue opportunities that may not have been available to them in the past.

At the business school graduation

Sony's Supportive Culture

I know I started at Sony Pictures 16 years ago because my oldest child is 16, and he was born right around the time I came here. When I transitioned into Digital Distribution in 2009, my daughter was born. Both of my kids went to the Sony Pictures Entertainment Child Development Center every day. I was able to drop them off at day care, come to work, do my job, and visit them during the day. It gave me peace of mind knowing that they were exceptionally well taken care of, which has allowed me to accomplish everything I’ve achieved professionally. I’m incredibly grateful that Sony Pictures supported me with my family like that. I don’t know that they even know how much I appreciate it, but I really do. The culture of Sony Pictures is exceptionally supportive. We work extremely hard, and if I had no controls in my life, I could work 24 hours a day because I love what I do. But every time I’ve ever needed to do something personally, the answer I’ve gotten from my colleagues is do whatever you need to do because family is number one. I’ve received a lot of support in smaller ways over the years, as the general reaction from the management team around me has always been one of support. In addition, at Sony Pictures, I’ve always been treated with respect as a female. When I’m talking to women and they ask me, ‘How is Sony Pictures? How is it really?’ I always tell them that the studio is excellent, and you couldn’t find a better workplace.

With my son and daughter at "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" (2018)

Sony University

I’ve benefited greatly from Sony’s investment in my learning through numerous training and development programs. I am currently part of Sony University, and I believe it’s the best personal development and professional training program I’ve experienced. As part of the program, in October (2022), I attended a week of classes at a business school in Spain with Sony colleagues. Since then, We have been working on a project where we assume we will be President of one of the Sony companies in 10 years, create a growth strategy, and determine what we would do to overcome any challenges. We will be going to group headquarter based in Japan in March (2023) to present our grand idea. I appreciate that Sony has chosen to invest in me by sending me to a program where I’m introduced to leaders across all of Sony to connect and look for ways to collaborate in the future.

With fellow colleagues at Sony University in Barcelona