By Riley Kaminer
We all do it. Maybe you’d even consider it your dirty little secret.
You’re watching a video on a streaming platform when a pesky advertisement suddenly appears. Seconds later, you’re served a “skip ad” button. Before you know it, you find yourself tapping on that all-too-enticing fast-forward button – perhaps even feeling some pangs of guilt that your favorite creator is missing out on a bit of revenue.
But now thanks to Miami-born startup Streann, now we can have it all. The media tech company has devised a new way to display advertisements inside the same frame that includes the content you’re currently watching. Essentially, for the duration of the ad, the main content gets slightly smaller as an advertisement appears. As soon as the ad has finished, it’s back to your regularly scheduled programming.
“The number one reason why people leave a video player is because of pre-roll ads,” Streann co-founder and CEO Giovanni Punzo told Refresh Miami. “The ad comes in and you’re not focused on the ad anymore – your eye goes to the “skip ad” button.”
According to Punzo, this tool brings the completion rate (the number of people who watch the entire ad) to around 97%. That’s a major step up from the completion rates for traditional pre-roll ads, which sits at around 70%. This new advertising medium is also available for audio content – displaying video ads embedded inside the place where users are listening to their content.
“This technology is great for publishers because video ads pay more than audio ads,” asserted Punzo. “This is a big revenue opportunity.” At the moment, this skip-ad-focused technology is only available through Streann’s platform. However, the company plans to launch an SDK to enable others to deploy this tech in their stack by Q1 of next year.
Streann continues to pioneer the next generation of tech-powered media. Now the company is also working on building tools for what it calls “TV 3.0,” or a more social, interactive media viewing experience. Features for this next generation of TV include what Punzo described as “where Netflix meets TikTok,” or vertical scrolling, micropayments, and user-generated content all wrapped into one.
“We had a record 70 million unique viewers last year,” Punzo said of Streann’s growth. “We’re expected to grow to 350 million unique viewers in the next few years.” Fuelling that growth will be more enterprise deals. Already, Streann has helped distribute the FIFA World Cup. This fall, Streann will be distributing the Pan American Games through its platform.
“We’ll be showcasing the world’s first multi-viewer experience,” noted Punzo. “More than 18 live streams will be going on at the same time on web, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV to create the ultimate sports experience for viewers.”
Globally, Streann has 75 employees and plans to increase its headcount to around 85 by the end of the year. Punzo also signaled that Streann has onboarded new investors but was unable to share details yet.
“We are helping creators become media companies and media companies to become app companies,” said Punzo, sharing that Streann now has 60,000 individual creators active on its platform. “We’re really proud of the impact we’ve had already and will continue to have going forward.”
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