Independent ad-supported streaming companies including Allen Media Group, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cineverse, Scripps and others have come together to leverage their collective reach and collaboratively engage with the industry through the newly formed Independent Streaming Alliance.

Also among the founding members are Future Today, kweliTV, Revry, Tastemade, TMB (Trusted Media Brands) and Vevo.

The members all represent popular but relatively smaller or niche independent streaming services with AVOD and free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) offerings competing in the space. They plan to pool and promote their collective value and pursue a combined approach to measurement, distribution and demand.

The ISA forum plans to proactively work together to engage with consumers, platforms, regulators and media to ensure independent players retain a place and are able to compete in the evolving streaming ecosystem while ensuring fair access to advertising supply.

The ISA has formed three working groups around the trio of topics, which the alliance said represent the key areas of both opportunity and challenge for independent streamers in the marketplace.  

“The formation of the ISA is long overdue,” said Philippe Guelton, Chief Revenue Officer at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, in a statement. “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.”

Together the founding companies offer over 2,200 independent streaming touchpoints, generating more than 500 million hours of monthly watch time. Some of the relatively larger players in the alliance have multiple streaming services in their portfolios, such as AMG which features Local Now, The Grio, The Weather Channel, and HBCU Go, among other assets. Chicken Soup for the Soul, meanwhile, has its namesake AVOD offering, the RedBox with Live TV FAST, and the Crackle AVOD streaming service, as well as Crackle Connex advertising platform.

Here's the focus and aim of the three current working groups:

  • Measurement: This working group is meant to establish the overall reach of member companies and the collective value of platforms and brand marketers. The alliance plans to work with 3P measurement providers to aggregate viewership and jointly message the benefits of the alliance to promote the value to platforms and brands.

The ISA group has tapped as a partner for audience and ad measurement, with the vendor employed to help quantify the total unique reach of the alliance and set the stage for leveraging iSpot’s streaming and cross-measurement platform as a possible currency.

  • Distribution: The distribution group is tasked with developing and sharing best practices for growing audiences and also working directly with platforms to ensure fair business practices and an even playing field
  • Demand: The demand working group will engage with SSPs, DSPs, brand and agencies to ensure ISA members’ advertising can be purchased and sold easily and in compliance with industry norms, including through direct IO or programmatic buying platforms.

Cameron Saless, chief business officer at TMB, in a statement pointed to the role of the ISA as ensuring independent publishers aren’t left on the sidelines as the industry evolves.

“Most of the members of the ISA were early adopters of FAST and played a major role in its initial growth and adoption,” Saless said in a statement. “As this industry matures and consolidates, we believe that we can play an important role in helping our peers and partners solve some of the important challenges around content discovery, data privacy, and demand transparency, while also ensuring independent programming does not get left out of the equation.”

Another aim is to showcase and represent minority-owned businesses, such as Allen Media Group, Future Today and kweliTV, while also advocating for more diverse programming and an even playing field industry-wide.

“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, in a statement “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.”

The ISA plans to continue to recruit more independent ad-supported streaming service members to join the effort.