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StreamTV Show 2024: Learning from leaders and building the future of FAST

Last week, the Wurl team headed to the Mile-High City to mix with the high-flyers at StreamTV Show in Denver, CO. This premier event draws together the brightest minds and leaders in the Connected TV (CTV) industry to delve into the latest innovations, discuss evolving consumer behaviors, and forecast the future of streaming media.

Wurl was the headline partner for this year’s show, an exciting opportunity to share our expertise with the industry and learn from countless experts, leaders, and visionaries who walked the floor over the course of the week.

Our team took the time to engage with fellow streaming insiders, share insights, and explore partnerships that enhance our strategies for audience engagement across CTV platforms.

We’ve put together a summary of some key takeaways from discussions and conversations that happened throughout the event.

CTV leaders roundtable: Advancements in technology and the future of viewer experience

One of the highlights of our trip to Denver was the CTV Leaders’ Roundtable, featuring key industry figures, including Alan Wolk from TVRev, Pete Wood of Sony Pictures, Matt Durgin from LG Electronics, Annie O’Brien of Samsung TV Plus, Rob Caruso of Google, and our expert Dave Bernath, VP of Sales & Partnerships at Wurl.

The discussion started with a deep dive into the world of live sports on streaming TV. The speakers acknowledged that FAST channels currently cater more to niche sports content and have not yet captured broader audiences, which are still primarily on linear. However, there is optimism that mainstream sports will soon become more accessible on FAST channels, thanks to general advancements in sports streaming.

Streaming platforms have significantly reduced latency and enhanced reliability and performance for sports broadcasts. These technological advancements are making traditional linear TV customers more open to adopting streaming as their primary sports solution. This shift is expected to foster greater trust and wider adoption of streaming services — leading to a gradual shift where more sports appear on FAST.

On the topic of scheduling and user experience (UX), Wurl’s Dave Bernath highlighted the enduring value of classic programming and scheduling, which is still the norm, but emphasized that there is a shift towards more personalized viewer experiences that allow users to resume viewing seamlessly and receive tailored content recommendations. Matt Durgin elaborated on this, pointing out that sophisticated metadata is now considered the “secret sauce” that enhances the entire industry, lifting both viewer satisfaction and content partner confidence. The home screen is prime real estate — identifying the content that users want to see and making sure it is positioned where relevant viewers can find it is key to success.

Spotlight on: Innovation in Advertising Award

As part of the event, we were honored to receive the Innovation in Advertising Award for ContentDiscovery, Wurl’s performance marketing solution built for streamers to attract, engage and retain viewers. This award celebrates our dedication to advancing advertising technology, blending innovative strategies with cutting-edge AI to redefine how brands connect with their audiences in the streaming era.

One topic that the event really underscored is the growing importance of content discovery in maintaining viewer engagement and satisfaction — something that Wurl is passionate about building solutions for.

Ensure channel viewership keeps pace with market growth

At the event keynote, “Innovation moves FAST: Leveraging the Internet Era to Create a Unique Viewer Experience On The Big Screen” Wurl’s Head of Corporate Strategy, Craig Heiting, broke down some key trends in the CTV industry — which is in a pivotal moment.

Despite a 13% increase in the number of unique offerings and a 74.3% rise in channel volume year-over-year, the number of channels has expanded without overall viewership keeping pace. This has led to fewer advertisers, lower fill rates, and decreased CPMs.

Craig highlighted that one of the main hurdles today is content discovery. Viewers spend an average of 5.7 minutes choosing content, while 45% cite choice overload as a significant barrier. Using technology to address the challenges of discovery and personalization is a way to ensure that your channel and content reach the right audience.

Valuable time spent at the cutting edge of streaming TV

From ContentDiscovery taking home the Innovation in Advertising Award gong to the enriching discussions at the CTV Leaders’ Roundtable, Wurl had a fantastic time at the StreamTV Show — and we’re already looking forward to next year!

As we reflect on the week, Wurl is more energized than ever to continue pioneering solutions that meet the evolving demands of the streaming landscape. Here’s to future innovations!

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