As the free, ad-supported streaming (FAST) sector continues to develop, a new trade group has been formed by 10 companies looking for parity with major media and tech companies.
The Independent Streaming Alliance describes itself as a “pro-competitive, independent industry forum to proactively engage and work collaboratively with consumers, platforms, regulators, and media.” Its founding members include Allen Media Group, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Cineverse, Future Today, kweliTV, Revry, Scripps, Tastemade, TMB (Trusted Media Brands), and Vevo.
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Collectively, the ISA’s founding companies generate more than a half-billion hours of watch time every month. Although most got to FAST early and have continued to invest there, they share a common concern about being at a disadvantage with ad buyers and other key constituents as larger media and tech companies increasingly throw their weight around. Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount Global and Lionsgate are among the bigger entities taking a closer look at the multi-billion-dollar FAST market as the financial sustainability of subscription streaming remains uncertain.
The ISA has identified three areas of focus — measurement, distribution and ad sales — and has formed working groups dedicated to each.
Parallels with the ISA in the media business have arisen before, among them the National Content & Technology Cooperative, a coalition for independent broadband and TV communications service providers. The NCTC negotiates carriage agreements and conducts other business on behalf of its members, with the philosophy that there is strength in numbers.
“The formation of the ISA is long overdue,” said Philippe Guelton, Chief Revenue Officer at Chicken Soup. “We are joining forces to promote the value of independent streamers, and to work hand-in-hand with platforms, advertisers, and regulatory bodies to ensure that we have a healthy ecosystem that benefits everyone, not just the few.”
In addition to representing independent players, the group said it also plans to highlight and represent minority-owned businesses such as Allen Media Group, Future Today, and kweliTV. In its launch announcement, the ISA said it will “use its platform to advocate for more diverse programming and a more equitable playing field” across the industry.
“The FAST space has been an exciting and important outlet for diverse and underrepresented communities over the past few years,” said Damian Pelliccione, co-founder and CEO at Revry. “The ISA is the industry support required for a global LGBTQ-first streaming media network like ours to continue to provide free ad supported TV for many years to come.”
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