Erin McPherson is currently VP, Head of Content and Partnerships at Verizon, where she leads Verizon's content strategy, business and operations across a growing number of platforms and services, including Fios, wireless and 5G. McPherson is responsible for all content partners, including all major broadcast and cable networks, studios, sports leagues, content creators, tech platforms and digital publishers and creators. In her role, Erin oversees a team of 50+ professionals with functions that span across strategy, business development, content acquisition, finance, operations and advertising. She reports directly to the Chief Revenue Officer of Verizon Consumer Group and has responsibility for an annual content budget in excess of US$4B and a content advertising business currently valued over US$200M.
Since joining Verizon in 2016, Erin has lead a number of disruptive and innovative partnerships, including: (1) Verizon’s groundbreaking deals for its consumer wireless business with Apple, Disney and Discovery (2019-2021), (2) An inventive renewal with the NFL, allowing for all in-market games to be distributed cross-carrier across Verizon platforms (2017), (3) An expanded relationship with the NBA, which included robust elements in fantasy, original content and an innovation fund (2017-2018); (4) Exclusive 5G innovation partnerships with Snap and Niantic to develop unique consumer experiences in 5G (2019-2021); and (5) Next-Gen creators’ platform, which kicked off with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller, with other well-known Hollywood creators to come.
In addition, Erin is sponsoring a major new consumer product build at Verizon, targeted launch Q1 2022, which will accelerate Verizon’s leadership in the DTC content arena.
Prior to Verizon, Erin served as Chief Content Officer at Maker Studios (2013-2015), the world’s largest network of short-form online video, having brought together a diverse community of YouTube creators and global franchises, now part of The Walt Disney Company. In her role at Maker, she oversaw a team of 100+, covering the studios, programming, original content, series development and sales across platforms, strategic programming partnerships, talent relationships, branded entertainment, marketing and editorial content on Maker's proprietary platform, Maker.tv.
Erin played a key role in the sale of Maker to Disney and subsequent integration, during which she drove multiple initiatives with divisions including Lucas, Marvel, ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, and Disney Parks. While at Maker, she oversaw dozens of original series, movies and other projects, including “Wonderquest” (featuring leading YouTube Minecraft talent Stampycat), “Scare Pewdiepie” (produced for YouTube Red with Skybound Entertainment (“Walking Dead”) and the biggest talent on YouTube, Pewdiepie), and “Crossroads of History” (History Channel). Erin also spearheaded the creation of Maker LABS, an innovative approach to content combining data and insights with creative storytelling, featuring partners such as James Franco, Robert Kirkman, Morgan Spurlock, major agencies and brands. Under Erin's leadership, Maker grew from approximately a dozen active programs to sustaining over 100 shows in development and 40+ shows in active production, including the most successful ongoing series on YouTube, “Epic Rap Battles of History.”
From 2007-2013, Erin worked at Yahoo, as VP and Head of Business Development for Yahoo Media (2007-2010) and then as VP and Head of Video, where she led the company’s foray into original video, growing the programming roster to more than 80 ongoing series, as well as branded entertainment and live specials. She also oversaw the development, launch and programming of Yahoo’s video product, Yahoo Screen, which was designed to encourage users to discover and binge watch short form video content, and built for both desktop and mobile use.
As Head of Video, she also managed the award-winning Yahoo Studios, where she focused on legitimizing the then-nascent online video genre by bringing both mainstream talent and big brands to the platform. Creative partners included A-list talent like Ben Stiller, Tom Hanks, Jack Black and Bill Maher, and genre-defining branded content with brands like P&G, Pepsi, Ford and Target. Erin was also instrumental in the creation of the Digital Newfronts, now a significant media industry annual event. During her tenure as leader of video, Yahoo video consumption peaked, and video related revenue at the company doubled year over year.
Before joining Yahoo, Erin practiced entertainment and media law, representing a wide number of individuals and companies, including Halle Berry, Debra Messing, Zachary Quinto and others. She also served as in-house counsel for LivePlanet, the media company founded in 2000 by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris Moore and Sean Bailey, as well as at z.com, an early online video company backed by Brillstein, 3 Arts, and Bill Gross’ Idealab. Prior to that, Erin practiced entertainment and intellectual property litigation, and served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall, Federal District Judge in the Central District of California.
Erin is active in the media and technology communities, serving on the Board of Directors of The T. Howard Foundation, promoting diversity in media and entertainment, as well as on the Board of Directors of NATPE, for the film, television and digital industry. Erin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School (1995) and received her B.A. magna cum laude from Middlebury College (1990). She maintains homes in both New York City and Los Angeles.