LOS ANGELES, USA // Michael Benson is best known for his innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial endeavors in the entertainment industry. He develops and implements strategic marketing campaigns that build brands, raise the creative bar, effectively engage audiences and drive business performance.
Mr. Benson is currently Director of Marketing for Prime Video and Head of Marketing for Amazon Studios, overseeing all marketing, creative, promotion, brand, awards and trade marketing activities for Amazon Original television content.
Mr. Benson is charged with driving acquisition and retention of Amazon Prime memberships through Prime Video's original content, as well as building and managing a global marketing operation for the subscription digital video streaming service.
Benson and his team launch and market a wide range of adult, sports and children's programming, including series such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hanna, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, The Man in the High Castle, Homecoming, The Grand Tour, Goliath, Thursday Night Football, Tumble Leaf and others.
Prior to Amazon, Mr. Benson was Chief Creative Officer for the Time Warner Global Media Group. In this role, he generated, cultivated and executed a wide range of innovative partnerships with brand marketers across the Time Warner corporate portfolio including HBO, Warner Bros., Time Inc. and Turner Networks.
Benson and his team acted as a strategic and creative catalyst for Time Warner Inc. to better position and brand the company as a whole to develop and distribute original content, applications and experiences that drove business growth through advertising revenue, promotional activities, programming, business development and corporate partnership opportunities.
Prior to Time Warner, Mr. Benson spent over 12 years at The Walt Disney Company, serving as Executive Vice President, Marketing for the ABC Entertainment Group. Benson oversaw all marketing and promotional activities for ABC Primetime, Late Night and ABC Studios programming, creating a host of globally-executed and highly recognized marketing campaigns for scripted and non-scripted series, specials, movies and mini-series, including Modern Family, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Bachelor.
Mr. Benson was a leader in formulating a vision for the development of a program franchising strategy that built shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives into global franchises that generated high ratings and spurred significant growth for the company. He began at ABC in June of 1998 as Senior Vice President, Advertising and Promotion and implemented ABC’s infamous Yellow/TV is Good campaign to the general consumer.
Mr. Benson joined ABC from VH1/MTV Networks, where he was Senior Vice President, Promotion & Program Planning. His work helped to reinvent music on television for an adult audience and contributed to significant ratings gains for the cable network.
He was instrumental in redefining VH1’s position as a cable music channel, creating a new brand position through the launch of original content. He launched numerous VH1 original series including Behind the Music, Pop Up Video, Legends and Stortyellers.
Prior to VH1, Mr. Benson served as Director of Communications for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, CA and held various positions at WCCO-TV, the CBS owned and operated station in Minneapolis, MN, where he began his career.
For his endeavors, Mr. Benson has received 17 Clio awards, including 1 Grand Clio, 5 Cannes Lion awards and an Emmy nomination for his work at Amazon. He received ABC’s first marketing Emmy Award in 2009, was named an Entertainment Marketer of the Year in 2008, 2007 and 2005 by Ad Age and, in 2000, by Brandweek magazine.
He was also recipient of the PromaxBDA and Brand Builder Award in 2004 and recipient of the Campaigns of Distinction Award in 2007 and 2004. Mr. Benson was named one of the top Hispanic marketers of the year by AdWeek’s Marketing y Medios Magazine in 2005.
Mr. Benson served on the Promax/BDA board of directors for 9 years, 5 of which he served as Chairman. He was an adjunct professor for Boston University, teaching Media and Entertainment Marketing under a program based in Los Angeles, CA.
Married and father of three, Mr. Benson resides in Los Angeles, CA.