Chris Pfaff

Chris Pfaff moderates SXSW panel, ‘How Immersive Sound Can Deliver Powerful Experiences’ with Google, Vaudeville Sound and XRAgency

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Chris Pfaff moderated the SXSW 2024 panel – ‘How Immersive Sound Can Deliver Powerful Experiences’ – on Friday, March 15th at the Hilton Austin Downtown, with an expert panel consisting of Mirko Vogel, from Vaudeville Sound Group; Jani Houponen, from Google, and Sylvana Levy, from XRAgency.

Vogel discussed the use of ambisonics in designing immersive audio for a range of projects, including Vaudeville’s creation of the industry’s largest immersive sound library, for Shutterstock; immersive audio for VR, including a music video with artist Whipped Cream; the ‘AmazingWar Stories’ podcast, and more.

Huoponen discussed Google’s immersive audio work, including the Alliance for Open Media’s recent Immersive Audio Models and Formats (IAMF) specification, a major advance in immersive audio design.

Levy demonstrated her immersive audio work on hybrid virtual/live installations for venues.

The audience was also treated to Vaudeville’s IAMF-designed forest audio, which simulated multiple speakers for bird noises and environmental sounds.

You can listen to the full panel at:

Chris Pfaff moderates Streaming Media Connect 2024 panel ‘Successful Strategies for Growing and Monetizing Your Streaming Service’

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Chris Pfaff moderated an all-star session – ‘Successful Strategies for Growing and Monetizing Your Streaming Service’ – on the virtual Streaming Media Connect conference, produced by Streaming Media Magazine, on February 22, 2024 that discussed strategies for curating content, maintaining audiences, and growing new channels.

Joining Chris were panelists Rene Santaella, Chief Digital & Streaming Officer, Estrella Media; Matt Farina, Senior Vice President, Content Distribution, NBCUniversal; Eric Sorensen, Director, Streaming Video Research, Parks Associates; Smriti Sharma, Head, Consumer Insights, Publishers Clearing House, and Julia Moonves, SVP, Advertising Sales & Brand Partnerships,

You can view the entire panel session at:

Chris Pfaff moderates Streaming Media Connect panel – ‘Targeting, Measuring, and Scaling Connected TV Advertising’

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Chris Pfaff moderated the virtual panel ‘Targeting, Measuring, and Scaling Connected TV Advertising’ on February 20, 2024 for Streaming Media Connect, the virtual conference series produced by Streaming Media Magazine.

Discussion of CTV’s rapid growth centered around the recent Walmart acquisition of Vizio. Joining Chris were panelists Aneessa Steilen, VP, Media & Distribution Marketing, Vevo; Jack Mollins, SVP, Advertising Sales, Atmosphere.TV; Jennifer Monson, VP, Ad Sales, Fubo; Tim Ware, Senior Vice President of Programmatic Sales and Revenue, Sales, Crackle Connex, and Mark Loughney, Senior Consultant, Hub Entertainment Research.

The full panel can be viewed at:

Chris Pfaff moderates ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ at Augmented World Exp

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Chris Pfaff moderated an expert panel, ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ at Augmented World Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, on June 2, 2023, with Scarlett Kim, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Kiira Benzing, from Doubleeye Studios.

You can watch the entire session at:

Chris Pfaff delivers keynote at TV Technology’s tvtech summit – ‘Why You Should Care About the Metaverse’

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Tom Butts (left) and Chris Pfaff (right) at the virtual tvtech Summit – March 29, 2023

Chris Pfaff was the keynote speaker at TV Technology’s tvtech Summit, a virtual half-day event on March 29, 2023 that featured leaders in the production technology industry, in a conversation with TV Technology editor-in-chief Tom Butts. Titled ‘Why You Should Care About the Metaverse,’ the March 29th conversation dove into topics regarding persistent computing, VR and AR, and some definitional discussion over the course of 30 minutes.

You can watch the entire discussion at:

Tom Butts wrote this preview (see below) in TV Technology, which was published on March 23, 2023.


Summit Preview: Explore the Metaverse with Chris Pfaff


On Wednesday, March 29, TV Tech will be holding its Spring TV Tech Summit, a series of keynote conversations, panel discussions and case studies covering the latest advances in Media and Entertainment tech.

Opening the summit, TV Tech Editor in Chief Tom Butts will talk with Chris Pfaff, founder of Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC, and a leading new media and technology producer and strategist on “Why You Should Care about the Metaverse.”

Chris’s 30+ year background in the industry makes him uniquely qualified to speak about this technology which (some would characterize) as “emerging” for more than a decade.

For those of us who think the metaverse is just another name for virtual reality, Chris is ready to debunk that trope.

“The metaverse is a shared decentralized digital space where you can meet, create and share a personalized experience,” he said. “But you can do that in  virtual reality and in other technologies as well. And I think that someday soon, perhaps not that many years from now we will have more projectable holograms that will reflect how people currently view the future of the metaverse.

“What makes the metaverse different from virtual reality is that it has to be immersive and it has to be persistent,” Chris added. “It has to have some community which may have some connections to what you experience in the physical world. It doesn’t have to be a simulacrum of what you do in the physical world where you are just ‘layering on.’”

Making the metaverse more immersive is key, not just to entertain us but to educate us as well, Chris says

“For example, if you were studying meteorology or cosmology and somebody was teaching you about the stratosphere and the ionosphere, using the metaverse to provide a more fully immersive kind of experience could really revolutionize the way we communicate and teach,” he added.


Master Class on Hybrid and Virtual Event Production with Chris Pfaff, Alex Lindsay, Daniel Houze, and John Porterfield

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The virtual and hybrid event production industry has benefitted from learnings forced upon it by the pandemic. Mostly, this involved the assurance that video delivery had reliability and Quality of Service (QoS). Interactivity, virtual backgrounds and immersive extensions delivered greater capabilities for audiences and producers alike. This was the background for the February 14, 2023 Streaming Media Connect session. ‘How to Do Virtual and Hybrid Events Right,’ moderated by Chris Pfaff and featuring John Porterfield, webcast producer from Social180 Group; Alex Lindsay, head of operations with 090 Media, and Dan Houze, VP, encoding & digital strategy with BCLive.

You can watch the entire session at:

Tyler Nesler, writer for, wrote such an excellent encapsulation of the session, that I am including it here for your reading:

Hybrid events have become much more common since the pandemic, but they have not proven to be as effective or engaging as in-person events. What are some of the issues that prevent the best QoE for hybrid participants, and how can they be remedied? Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech MediaVR AR Association (VRARA), discusses these issues with Alex Lindsay, Head of Operations, 090 Media, and Dan Houze, VP, Encoding & Digital Strategy, BC Live in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

Chris Pfaff begins by pointing out that it was not too long ago that streamed live events were audio-only, and that it was only just before the pandemic that video began to be widely incorporated into the experience for virtual audiences. The pandemic accelerated the process of developing higher-quality streaming video at scale. However, even with the leap of improvements for QoE, much remains left to be desired. “I think for any event that you’re talking about, whether it’s a corporate event [or] a concert, that’s a huge issue,” he says. “So I really want to start with that as a topic because when we’re all involved in these events, I think we’re very forgiving. But you know, scale is such a huge part of this.” He asks Alex Lindsay of 090 Media, “What’s your take on how far we’ve come in terms of really getting that quality experience and that scale?”

“I think we’re starting to get there,” Lindsay says. “[But] I think we’re sliding backward a little bit. You know, now people want to come back into the room, and I think that the ways we’re coming back into the room have been sliding us back into the 2015, 2016 range.” He laughs and says, “You know, I’ve been doing this a bit longer than ma ny people…”

“We can tell by the gear behind you!” Pfaff says.

“2008, 2009 is when we really started streaming video,” Lindsay says. “And the main thing is that we aren’t doing it that much better now in some cases when we go back to physical events.” He refers to webinars such as Streaming Media Connect, “A lot of these events are starting to work. The problem is that there’s data that we have from 10 years ago that told us that the hybrid events weren’t working, and they’re still not working.”

Pfaff says, “So as an adjunct, that you’re a second-class citizen if you’re not in the room, you should be happy that there’s a camera with a terrible angle of five people on a stage. Is that what we’re talking about?”

“Yeah,” Lindsay says. “When we started, it made sense. You know, we’re streaming Dreamforce, and there’s 15,000 people in the room and 300 people watching, you are second class…”

“For those who don’t know, Dreamforce is Salesforce,” Pfaff says. “It’s Salesforce’s mondo over-the-top annual event.”

Lindsay emphasizes that the core issue is a virtual audience’s sense of not being fully connected to a live event, which ultimately colors their perception of the event’s significance. In that situation, he says, “They don’t feel like the event’s important. They don’t feel like the product is important. They don’t feel like a lot of these things are important, and we don’t talk enough [about that].”

“So you’re saying that in some respect, there’s a brand disconnect?” Pfaff says. That you’re damaging your brand to some extent?”

Lindsay notes that not only does this sense of disconnect damage the brand, but it hampers enthusiasm for virtual participants to return to the event. “It’s the most devastating way to do this because they don’t complain,” he says. “People who complain care about the event, they want it to be better. People who don’t complain oftentimes are just disappearing. We’ve called them and said, ‘Hey, why didn’t you come?’ ‘Well, I was just busy.’ You know, it wasn’t like ‘I’m mad that I felt like I was in the back of the room…’”

Pfaff points out that accessibility is also a critical issue that does not get enough attention. He asks Dan Houze of BC Live about his insights into audience accessibility, not just for digital-first events like webinars but particularly for hybrid events.

Houze narrows the accessibility issue down to consumer versus internal audiences. “I think that a lot of times the virtual shows we’re doing, or the hybrid shows or digital-first shows that we’re doing are sort of just corporate-driven and they’re sort of internal meetings,” he says. “It’s not necessarily launching a keynote for a new product or something like that.”

Lindsay agrees but contends that engagement matters no matter what the type of hybrid event, even corporate ones. “You still have to keep all the employees going in the same direction,” he says. “When you create an event where they don’t feel important, you’re not getting quite the same charge out of your corporate event.”


Chris Pfaff moderates ‘Producing in XR: How to Navigate Challenges’ panel in-person at Immerse Global Summit Miami at Fontainebleau Hotel

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Chris Pfaff moderates the ‘Producing in XR: How to Navigate Challenges’ panel at the Immerse Global Summit Miami at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

Speakers included:

  • Michael Owen, MediaCombo
  • Grace Ng, ‘Crash Punks’
  • Ian Beacraft, Signal & Cipher



Chris Pfaff moderates ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ in-person at Immerse Global Summit Miami

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Chris Pfaff moderated the ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ session, which opened Day 2 of the Immerse Global Summit Miami, produced by the VR AR Association, on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, with an all-star panel, featuring:

  • Alyssa Landry, Doubleeye Studios
  • Brandon Powers, BP Projects
  • Kiira Benzing, Doubleeye Studios
  • Sylvana Levy, Sylvana Levy & Co.

The session opened with a salsa entrance – to Marc Anthony’s ‘Valió la Pena’ – that got the crowd up and dancing.

Chris Pfaff appears on CTAM Europe virtual session – ‘Get Ready to Go FAST’ – November 16, 2022

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Chris Pfaff appeared on the CTAM Europe virtual webinar – Get Ready to Go FAST’ – on Wednesday, November, 16, 2022. Marco Frazier, from Screen+ moderated, and Christian Kneel, from Global Media Consult also appeared. The panel discussion included points regarding the content requirements for FAST and the monetization and tech requirements for FAST channel development.

You can watch the entire ‘Get Ready to Go FAST’ session at:


Christian Knaebel (upper left) makes a point as Chris Pfaff (upper right) and Marco Frazier (lower right) look on

Karen Doyle, from CTAM Europe (lower left) introduces the panel

Chris Pfaff moderates the ‘Web3, Blockchain, and NFTs: Separating the Hype From the Reality’ session at Streaming Media West 2022

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At the first in-person Streaming Media West in three years, Chris Pfaff moderated the ‘Web3, Blockchain, and NFTs: Separating the Hype From the Reality’ session on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, California.

Speakers included:
– Marc Scarpa, founder, DeFiance Media
– Dot Bustelo, founder/CEO, Loupe Art + Music
– Darcy Lorincz, CTO, Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

You can watch the entire ‘Web3, Blockchain, And NFTs: Separating the Hype From The Reality’ panel at:

(Left to right): Dot Bustelo, Darcy Lorincz, Chris Pfaff, and Marc Scarpa after the ‘Web3, Blockchain, And NFTs: Separating The Hype From The Reality’ panel

Dot Bustelo (right) discusses her streaming NFT strategy

Marc Scarpa discusses leading a Web3-focused OTT service

Darcy Lorincz (center) discusses the intricacies of live auction streaming