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 Streaming Media Connect virtual panel – ‘FAST Times: Keeping Up with the FAST Ecosystem’

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Chris Pfaff moderated an all-star panel on the FAST industry sector – ‘FAST Times: Keeping Up with the FAST Ecosystem’ – during the virtual Streaming Media Connect conference, on August 24, 2023, with Christina Chung, from Estrella Media; Damian Pelliccione, from Revry; Marisa Elizondo, from Fubo, and Jeff Flanagan, from HARTBEAT.

You can watch the entire session at:


Read Steve Nathans-Kelly’s piece on the session in Streaming Media, dated November 7, 2023 and Tyler Nesler’s piece from September 15, 2023 below:


The State of FAST: Around the Horn with Fubo, Estrella Media, and HARTBEAT


With all the talk of FAST 2.0 and the explosion of FAST channels to the point of approaching market saturation, is FAST’s self-reinvention a foregone conclusion, or even advisable at this juncture? What are the new and emerging FAST growth strategies that are driving growth today, as opposed to a year or two ago? And how have the strikes in Hollywood that consumed at least 2 quarters of the year impacted channel and content development? At Streaming Media Connect 2023Chris Pfaff of Chris Pfaff Tech Media posed these questions to three executives from key players in the FAST ecosystem: HARTBEAT, Fubo, and Estrella Media.

For Kevin Hart-founded entertainment network HARTBEAT (formerly known as Laugh Out Loud), the emerging FAST strategy has been surprisingly YouTube-focused. “We’re seeing more growth in viewership minutes and numbers, but with the caveat that where we’re seeing that growth is on the big ones–Tubi, Pluto, Samsung, Roku,” says Jeff Clanagan, President and Chief Distribution Officer at HARTBEAT. “We just launched a FAST channel on our YouTube page, which is doing extremely well. We’ve only been up about four months now. The advantage that we had in doing that is we already had a YouTube page that had five million subscribers on it. So what we were able to do–which I think only a couple of people have done– is launch our FAST stream on our YouTube page versus a separate FAST stream in another environment in YouTube. So we are able to tap into that audience that we’ve already curated.”

For sports-centric live TV streaming network Fubo, the strategy of leaning heavily into FAST with new channel launches has continued apace despite the writers and actors strikes that have largely halted the production or infusion of new content. “Fubo is a live streaming platform,” says Fubo VP, Content Strategy & Acquisition Marisa Elizondo. “We’re sports-focused. We’ve leaned in very heavily over the past year into the FAST space thinking, ‘There is probably a happy medium between the FAST world and the traditional linear networks. So over the past year, we were taking a slow and steady approach to launching FAST channels, and we actually leaned in quite heavily and launched about 100 FAST channels. And what’s unique about us is that we’ve mixed them in between all of the packaging. So if you pulled up our channel lineup, you would see that all of the FAST channels are kind of mixed in. And it’s been great. Despite the strikes, we have still had a ton of inbound requests of new networks that are trying to get launched, trying to get eyeballs. So I’m rather busy in taking all of those, but I don’t think the strikes have deterred any independent nets or new nets from trying to get additional distribution.”

“FAST has grown significantly,” said Christina Chung, VP Business Operations at Spanish-language multi-platform media company Estrella Media. “In the last three years, our business at Estrella has really grown from FAST distribution at $0 to a multi-million-dollar business. We work with a number of different partners such as Fubo where we have our four channels: Estrella TV, Estrella News, Estrella Games, and Cine Estrella, which is our movie channel. And we’ve seen astronomical growth because I think viewers in the world are looking for places where they can find content outside of just buying a cable subscription or a broadcast subscription. So it is an opportunity to have a free ad-supported television experience that is very similar to the traditional linear business. And Estrella has put all of our marketing dollars into FAST and do have our own app, but FAST is our bread and butter at this point. It’s grown into this behemoth where we work very closely with all of our different distribution partners and we work on different content strategies with each of them.”




How Premium Brands Are Leveraging FAST

by Tyler Nesler, Streaming Media

September 15, 2023


As with any other entertainment streaming genre, the engine driving FAST is the monetization of content, and as with large-scale live events in particular, FAST thrives on pairing brands with properties and serving those brands effectively. In this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023, Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media, Producers Guild of America (PGA), VR AR Association (VRARA), talks with Damian Pelliccione, CEO / Co-Founder, Revry, how Revry works with brands and the sort of brand identification with key Revry programming that enables the industry’s leading LGBTQ+ programming destination to thrive and grow.

“There’s more innovation happening every day in FAST,” Pfaff says. “Damian, what’s interesting is a lot of people think, ‘I’ve heard of these guys Revry and what they’re doing. They’ve got these brands, they’re FAST. This isn’t subscription, this isn’t even AVOD. How do you do that? Are [people] coming to you saying, ‘I see something really both subversive and also very clever in that strategy of pulling people in who have disposable income, brands who want to attach themselves because there’s an audience, not because they just like throwing cash around. Do you find other people who are looking to pay you flattery by imitation, or where is that going?”

“I think the biggest thing we did is we built distribution and we built audience,” Pelliccione says. “We’re over 5 million monthly active viewers across all of our apps and channels, with almost 80% of that coming exclusively from our FAST channel partners. And we’ve leveraged the opportunity to sell that inventory at really high CPMs. We’re selling at the height, during Pride season, at 50, 60 CPMs, the entry point being 35, because we’re a very affluent market. We have the [highest] amount of scale of video inventory in CTV addressing this market, and we’ve not been challenged. We’re really the thought leader in this space.”

Pelliccione emphasizes that the core of FAST effectiveness is having great and original content. “Obviously, that takes the cake, where our original programming is completely underwritten by brands, de-risking all of the opportunity, us owning all of that IP,” they say. “We did over 1.5 million views in two weeks for a Voguecompetition show that was completely underwritten by Henkel’s got2b brand, the hair gel and dye, which I’m wearing right now, and Nike, which I’m also wearing right now. I obviously like to support all the brands that support us. And a shout out to John Lear, Mark [Bracero], and Linda [Morel] at Triple Threat Productions. We’re seeing multi-Emmy award-winning producers. Mark has five Emmys for Queer Eye. He’s nominated currently. Linda, having won for Key & Peele, is currently nominated for A Black Lady Sketch Show. Producers from traditional media are trying to get into the FAST and the AVOD market and work with networks like Revry because they see us scaling our business, scaling our original content opportunity, working with brands, and creating. We only create unscripted content from an original standpoint, and seeing [opportunities] like Drag Latina, which Triple Threat is producing for us right now. We did a million live impressions when we announced that show [and] when we actually premiered season one last fall, and they’re producing season two right now as we speak in Los Angeles.”




Content Americas in Miami: Latin American Media Gathers for Inaugural Event

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For a decade, from 2010-2020, the third week in January meant that television buyers, programmers, and producers met for NATPE (National Association of Television Programming Executives) in Miami. In late-2022, NATPE declared bankruptcy, and London-based C21 Media, hot off their successful Content London event in late-November, announced the launch of Content Americas, which presented a fresh look at the burgeoning Latin American content business. The inaugural event, held at the Miami Hilton Downtown from January 23-26, was sold out; a crowd of 1,500 executives gathered to do business in a post-pandemic landscape that looked vastly different than the last in-person NATPE in 2020.
One of the major inflection points in the LATAM media universe is the migration to Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television, or FAST, models, both with U.S. Latino populations and across Latin America. Wrapping up Day #2 on Wednesday, January 25th was the session ‘FAST Across the Americas: How Latin Brands Are Migrating to Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV,’ which discussed the growth of  FAST models in Latin America and with U.S. Latino populations, and how advertisers and brands are collaborating on models for existing and new streaming audiences.
Left to right: Chris Pfaff, Jorge Balleste, Jasmin Rezai, Tony Kelly, Jonathan French
The OTT landscape across the Americas has, until recently, consisted mainly of operator-driven curation of video channels. Now, the FAST revolution has taken hold, and channels are being launched to support existing OTT brands, including SVOD services, to create upsell momentum and brand recognition amongst Spanish, Portuguese and English audiences alike.
Moderated by Chris Pfaff, CEO of Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC, the session included Jasmin Rezai, vice president content distribution & partnerships, Olympusat; Tony Kelly, CEO, DMD Limited/CINDIE; Jorge Balleste, VP, content partnerships and acquisitions, Vix/Vix+, TelevisaUnivision, and Jonathan French, SVP, sales & business development, MuxIP.
Jonathan French, Chris Pfaff, Jasmin Rezai, Jorge Balleste, Tony Kelly
You can listen to the full session here:
Pfaff kicked off the session discussing what he called ‘FAST Figures,’ including:
  • There are more than 1,500 FAST channels in the U.S.
  • Omdia has reported that FAST channel revenues will each $12bn in 2027
  • According to TVRev, by 2025, more money will be spent on FASTs ($33.7B or 35% of total ad spend) than on cable, broadcast or SVOD. That number will grow to $42.6B or 42% of total ad spend by 2027
  • According to Omdia, two of the top 10 CTV markets are in LATAM: Brazil is #2 and Mexico is #7. Will we see further regional LATAM growth in CTV in the next 3 years
  • In the U.S., leading FAST channels massively increased their Spanish language catalogs during the pandemic (March, 2020-Sept. 2022): Pluto from 389 to 5,529; Roku On Demand from 0 to 3,815 and Tubi from 1665 to 9,455
  • According to GSMA, Take-up of 4G has more than doubled across Latin America in the past 5 years, with more than 410 million connections at the end of 2021. This is projected to peak in 2024, as consumers increasingly migrate to 5G plans.

Pfaff directed the conversation to the emerging FAST strategy in LATAM, including using FAST channels to upsell viewers to premium content, as Tony Kelly acknowledged for CINDIE. Jorge Ballesta’s Vix – which encompasses more than 40,000 hours of content in all genres – became part of the discussion. Pfaff discussed the “FAST is the new cable” mantra with the panel, and even discussed how FAST is also the new “independent TV.” With a shout-out to TelevisaUnivision’s Luis de la Parra, a leader in branded content, Pfaff discussed the growth of FAST channels as a promotional vehicle.





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 ‘Life in the FAST Lane’ pre-MIPCOM panel

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Chris Pfaff moderated an all-star panel – ‘Life in the FAST Lane’ – as a pre-MIPCOM virtual session on the Media Meet & Greet community, on the Deal Room platform, on Monday, October 10, 2022.

The speakers included:

  • Jonathan French, senior vice president, sales and business development, MuxIP
  • Larry Baird, chief marketing officer, Crackle Plus
  • Richard Young, director of syndication, Little Dot Studios
  • John T. Wells, CEO, Dooya Media Group

The session discussed the accelerated adoption of Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television, or FAST, models, and how advertisers and brands are positioning their content for this growing sector.

Chris Pfaff (upper left); Larry Baird (upper center): Richard Young (upper right); Jonathan French (lower left), John Wells (lower right)

You can watch the entire ‘Life in the FAST Lane’ panel at:

Chris Pfaff moderates ‘The Future of Advertising’ panel at Streaming Media East 2022

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At the first-ever Streaming Media East event held in Boston, Chris Pfaff moderated the ‘Future of Advertising’ session on May 24, 2022 with the following experts:

Brian Kline, president, Penthera

Jessica Masters, Director of East Coast Sales – Roku

Tim Ware, VicePresident of Platform Partnerships and Sales – Crackle Plus

You can watch the full panel at:

Session Description:

SSAI. CSAI. DLA. FAST. AVOD. It’s a veritable alphabet soup of advertisingtechnologies and models, but they all share one thing in common: opening up a new world of TV advertising leveraging technologies that are only possible in streaming. This panel of industry leaders talks about what’s working, what’s not, and where the smart money says OTT advertising is headed.

(Left to right): Jessica Masters, Roku; Brian Kline, Penthera, Tim Ware, Crackle Plus

(Left to right): Jessica Masters, Roku; Brian Kline, Penthera, Tim Ware, Crackle Plus, Chris Pfaff, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC

Chris Pfaff moderates Streaming Media East Connect session, ‘Ad-Supported Streaming Takes Over?’ – May 19, 2021

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Chris Pfaff moderated the Streaming Media East Connect session ‘Ad-Supported Streaming Takes Over?’ on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, featuring some of the content and technology leaders in the Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) space, including:

  • Damian Pelliccione, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Revry
  • Chris Yates, general manager, on-demand, Redbox
  • Nick Colsey, VP, Business Development, Sony Electronics
  • Srinivasan KA, Co-founder, Amagi
  • Philippe Guelton, EVP of Online Networks & President of Crackle Plus at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

You can watch the full panel at:


Chris Pfaff (upper middle); Srinivasan KA (upper right); Philippe Guelton (middle left); Nick Colsey (middle middle); Chris Yates (bottom left), Damian Pelliccione (bottom right)


Chris Pfaff moderates all-star panel at Media Meet & Greet Spring 2021: ‘OTT Platforms for All Sizes: Not All Content Wears the Same’

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated a supersession at the Spring (NAB-themed) Media Meet & Greet event ‘OTT Platforms for All Sizes: Not All Content Wears the Same’ on April 22, 2021, presented by Broadband TV News, and sponsored by Amagi Corporation. Avner Ronen, from Samsung Electroics; Tony Huidor, from Cinedigm; Paul Edwards, from ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV, and Sriivasan KA, from Amagi, discussed the explosion of free ad-supported television (FAST) and the growth of niche content channels in this 42-minute session. Kudos to Janet Greco and the Dealroom team for a great event.

You can watch the full session at:


Paul Edwards, ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV: (upper left); Tony Huidor, Cinedigm (upper middle); Avner Ronen, Samsung Electronics (upper right); Srinivasan KA, Amagi (bottom left), Chris Pfaff, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC (bottom right)