The 16 power players leading the rise of free, ad-supported streaming services in 2019

  • Business Insider is recognizing the leaders who are helping shape the rise of free, ad-supported streaming video in 2019. 
  • We are highlighting 16 power players, based on a mixture of reporting, nominations from readers, and conversations with industry experts.
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Ad-supported streaming services are taking flight in 2019, as more tech companies, digital startups, and legacy-media brands clamor to capture the billions in advertising dollars that are moving away from traditional TV.

US spending on digital-video advertising will reach $36 billion this year, 20% more than last year, eMarketer estimates.

With this inaugural list, Business Insider is recognizing the leaders who are helping shape the rise of free, ad-supported streaming video in 2019. 

These power players are pushing the industry forward: their companies have recently been acquired or on the verge of being bought; they're trying to broaden their reach and raise funding; and they're expanding their content libraries and ad formats to speak to underserved audiences, and attract advertisers.

These leaders are helping their companies navigate the evolving TV landscape and shaping the future of ad-supported video.

Methodology

We relied on a mix of our own reporting, nominations from readers, and industry experts to narrow down the finalists. We chose them based on the breadth of their roles and responsibilities, and their influence on company performance and the industry.

The list encompasses a range of streaming companies, including AVOD players like Tubi, ad-supported streaming TV services like Pluto TV; niche services that have corner a segment of the ad-supported video market like Revry; tech companies that are playing in the video space, like Twitter; and media companies that have been strategic in programming for these platforms, like Viacom Digital Studios.

The list does not include executives at ad-supported services like Hulu or ESPN Plus that also charge subscription fee. But it does include freemium offerings like Hotstar that offer a free, ad-supported tier.

The power players are listed in alphabetical order.

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