Jay Samit(born January 31, 1961) is the Independent Vice Chairman of Deloitte. An American digital media innovator, he has pioneered advancements in music and video distribution, social media, and e-commerce. He is the author of the bestselling book Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation.
Samit was a recipient of the Presidential fellowship at UCLA where he graduated magna cum laude in 1982. The same year, Samit founded Jasmine Multimedia Publishing where he created some of the breakthrough laserdisc and CD-ROM titles that defined the emergence of video and music on the personal computer, including the first video on a PC. Jasmine’s technological breakthroughs include creating the first interactive videodisc arcade game in 1982 and the first laserdisc-based interactive movie theater for the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition.
After Jasmine Multimedia Publishing was acquired, Samit was brought on as the first head of business development for Universal Studios in the New Media Group. Later, as VP of Universal Studios’ New Media arm, Samit developed a number of content-driven opportunities for the company to make their new media initiative profitable. In 1998, he created the first million-member social media site for college students called animalhouse.com, which was the first online community to feature free web-based email, VOIP, and ecommerce.Animalhouse.com was hailed as “the leading online community for college students” by Variety in 1999.
In April 1999, Samit joinedEMI (Capitol Records) as EVP of New Media and rose to Global President of Digital Distribution. Under Samit’s leadership, EMI was able to make the company’s entire music catalog Internet-ready. With the goal of being the “first digital label,” Samit led EMI’s strategy to make money by signing deals aimed at developing and owning the technology to distribute music over the Internet and wireless networks. Under Samit, EMI became the first record label to offer digital albums for sale (David Bowie Hours), win a Grammy for a digital release (Lenny Kravitz’s In), sign the Beatles to their first digital distribution deal, and record and distribute mobile ringtones. According to Variety, when Samit joined EMI in 1999, EMI had a “negligible Internet presence” but soon became “arguably the most innovative music major spearheading the shift into digital distribution.”
Samit left EMI to join Somewhere he was the creator and general manager of Sony Connect and later rose to executive vice president. As Sony, once the biggest player in the portable audio market, was quickly losing market share to Apple and the iPod, Samit was brought in to launch Sony’s online music store and “bridge the gap between Sony’s engineers in Tokyo and its music team in the United States.”Sony Connect, Sony’s global digital service for music, video, ebooks, and mobile content. It was once the world’s largest online music store with over 2.5 million tracks serving 45 million page views a day.
From 2009-2012, Samit was the CEO of SocialVibe, a digital advertising technology company that powers engagement advertising for some of the world’s top brands, including Microsoft, Visa Inc., Apple Inc., Disney, Coca-Cola, Kia Motors, Kraft Foods, Macy’s, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Discover Card. Samit managed the company during a time of rapid growth. During his tenure, SocialVibe developed partnerships with major sites like Facebook, Zynga, Pandora, The Huffington Post, IMVU, Zinio and Causes. The company was acquired by 21st Century Fox for $200 million.
Samit served as president ofooVoo, a free, social video-chat service growing the service to a top teen App with more than 100 million registered users worldwide.ooVoo enables people to connect with their friends, family, and community via 12-way video chat over the Web, Facebook, desktop and any Android or iOS-based mobile or tablet device using cloud-based connectivity. The ooVoo mobile application was awarded the 2013 Best App Technology by Appster, the “Best of the Year” distinction in 2011 and named 2012 Venture Summit Company of the Year. Samit was named the 2013 Mobile Ambassador by the MEA.
Samit served as CEO of SeaChange International a NASDAQ company, the world’s leading provider of multi-screen video products and services that facilitate the aggregation, licensing management, and distribution of video programs and television advertisements to cable system operators, telecommunications companies, mobile communications providers and media companies worldwide.SeaChange pioneered the field of Video on Demand and won a number of awards, including three Emmy Awards in the category Technology & Engineering and in 2015, the Technology Services Industry Associations STAR award.