Howard Ballon joins Synovate to lead new Media and Entertainment research group

25 March 2011

Los Angeles — Global market research firm Synovate, one of the top four custom market research companies in the world, announced that Howard Ballon has been appointed Managing Director of the new Media and Entertainment sector in North America. Ballon will be building a team to support Synovate’s efforts into the media and entertainment sector from Synovate’s Los Angeles office.

Ballon joins Synovate after his most recent position as Executive Vice President of the Media & Entertainment practice at Ipsos-OTX. Before that, he was President of Nielsen Film & Home Entertainment. In that role, he was responsible for Nielsen NRG, Nielsen TV, and Nielsen EDI. During his tenure at NRG, Ballon expanded its capability as a global leader of filmed entertainment research with the creation of movie tracking services in five countries, launched and presented a widely used movie industry benchmark study, introduced a web-based platform of the NRG movie database, and established NRG?s DVD custom and syndicated research practice. With EDI, he led the expansion of its global coverage of box office to Japan and Korea. He also helped transition Nielsen TV from a pilot-testing boutique to a more diversified market research company serving an expanded group of broadcast and cable networks. Ballon began his career in book publishing and home entertainment where he held senior sales and marketing positions before becoming a consultant and market researcher for film, home entertainment, games, digital platforms and portals and publishing clients.

“Consumers have found ways to devote even more time, energy and money to their entertainment choices during this period of proliferating technologies, new platforms and the explosion of social media,” says Robert Skolnick, President of Synovate in North America. “I am very pleased to have someone of Howard’s caliber, especially with such vast media and entertainment experience, joining the North America team. We look forward to bringing our innovative approaches to understand better the rapidly evolving consumer and their entertainment and media choices.”

Howard has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Wharton Public Policy Fellowship, and holds a BA from Vassar College. He has been a marketing instructor and guest lecturer at UCLA and USC, and in the Wharton Community Educational Program. He is on the Board of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

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