16 Must-Follow Thought Leaders in the OTT Space

Do you often find yourself aimlessly scrolling through LinkedIn without gaining anything from it? With the average user spending just 7 minutes and 12 seconds on the platform, surely it’s reasonable to spend that time wisely? LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the internet, is a gold mine for useful information, with many lessons to be learned from some incredibly knowledgeable people, often referred to as “thought leaders”.

With unprecedented growth in recent years, the OTT space has become increasingly important to brands, and there has been a proliferation of quality thought leaders sharing their thoughts and insights into a complex industry. When it comes to learning all about the must-know news and insights from the world of streaming, where do you turn for wisdom and knowledge into one of the fastest-growing industries? Well, fear not as we’ve put together a list of sixteen must-follow thought leaders to help you stay abreast of an industry that’s showing no signs of slowing.

To be taken directly to a thought leader of your choice, you can click on their name below. Alternatively, you can scroll through the page to learn more about each thought leader helping to redefine the OTT space.

💡 Alan Wolk
💡 Benedict Evans
💡 Chris Redmond
💡 Colin Dixon
💡 Dan Rayburn
💡 Erick Opeka
💡 Evan Shapiro
💡 Fred Santarpia
💡 Ian McKee
💡 Kirby Grines
💡 Maaz Sheikh
💡 Marion Ranchet
💡 Matthew Duhig
💡 Nick Meacham
💡 Paul Bojarski
💡 Yann Colléter

Alan Wolk

Company: TVREV
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: tvrev.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/alanwolk

Alan is the Co-Founder and Lead Analyst of TVREV, an analyst group covering changes in TV and media with exclusive reports, analysis and insights.

With almost 300,000 followers on LinkedIn, Alan is one of the leading figures in the OTT industry. Recognised by Wired as one of the Top 20 Thinkers In Social TV and Second Screen, Alan has created one of the media industry’s go-to sources for understanding the changes coming from Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue and beyond. Alan frequently provides his expert opinion on breaking stories in the media industry, as well as the effects these changes will have on the TV’s advertising ecosystem.

Alan has also written a book focussed on OTT and how the internet is changing the TV industry. Check it out here.

Benedict Evans

Based in: UK 🇬🇧
Website: ben-evans.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/benedictevans

Benedict is a tech aficionado, having spent 20 years of his career analysing mobile, media and technology, he has experience in equity research, strategy, consulting and venture capital.

As an independent analyst, Benedict commits his time to working out what truly matters in the world of technology, through insightful essays, newsletters and speaking engagements. While his focus is not constrained specifically to the world of OTT, he certainly provides some interesting hot takes on the industry, and if you’re as mad about tech as Benedict, we highly recommend signing up for his newsletter.

Chris Redmond

Company: RedHolt
Based in: UK 🇬🇧 / UAE 🇦🇪
Website: redholt.net
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/theottrecruiter

As the Global Lead at RedHolt who offer expert search and advisory services focused on tech, digital marketing and sales recruitment, it’s safe to say that Chris knows a thing or two when it comes to OTT and the people that make the industry tick.

Regularly posting lots of insightful and thought-provoking content with a particular focus on SVOD, Chris is a valuable thought leader to have in your network should you wish to keep on top of the latest trends in the industry. He also runs an awesome podcast devoted purely to OTT professionals that we’d recommend listening to.

Colin Dixon

Company: nScreenMedia
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: nscreenmedia.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/nscreenmedia

Colin is the Founder and Chief Analyst at nScreenMedia, a site dedicated to the new world of over-the-top delivery of media, and brings a wealth of knowledge on digital TV, over-the-top and IPTV spaces garnered from his 15 years of working in those industries.

Colin frequently speaks and moderates at many of the industry’s biggest events such as NAB, CES, TV Connect and IBC. To gain a deep insight into market movements, learn more about important coverage of industry events and listen to podcasts talking about OTT and streaming, Colin’s your man.

Dan Rayburn

Company: NAB Show
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: danrayburn.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/danrayburn

Recognised by many as “the voice for the industry”, Dan is the man for all things AVOD, SVOD, streaming and OTT. Having spent 25 years in the streaming media industry, he is considered one of the foremost authorities, speakers, and writers on streaming media technology and OTT business models.

Dan is currently the Conference Chairman for one of the largest and most widely-recognised streaming events in the world, NAB Show. Leveraging his expertise and knowledge acquired over 25 years, he runs one of the most widely read streaming media blogs read by content owners and industry executives in content, broadcast and media sectors.

Erick Opeka

Company: Cinedigm
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: cinedigm.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/erickopeka

Erick is the Chief Strategy Officer and President at Cinedigm, a studio providing premium feature films and series to digital platforms. Alongside his role at Cinedigm, Erick is also a board and executive member of OTT.X, the entertainment industry’s largest streaming trade organisation.

Frequently speaking at industry events, Erick specialises in delving deeper into the world of aggregation, SVOD v AVOD and the ever-evolving world of content acquisition. If you want to stay on top of this industry from someone who has been named as a “Digital Driver” a staggering seven times by Home Media Magazine, Erick is a must-follow thought leader you need in your network.

Evan Shapiro

Company: eshapTV
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: eshap.tv
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/eshap

Evan is the CEO of eshapTV, a company that works with artists and partners to create stand-out television. Evan is also an Emmy and Peabody Award Winner who has produced or created more than 150 television series, specials or documentaries.

Having worked in the TV space for decades, Evan is an extremely valuable fountain of knowledge when it comes to the media and streaming ecosystem. You will often see Evan sharing lots of insightful content regarding the world of television.

Evan also has an incredibly diverse bank of content which you can access via his Linktree. Here, he wades in on the fierce streaming wars, the ever-evolving media universe, Connected TV, cancel culture and gaming.

Fred Santarpia

Company: Endeavor Streaming
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: endeavorstreaming.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/fredsantarpia

As the President of Endeavor Streaming, Fred is responsible for driving the company’s strategic vision and global expansion strategy. He has an incredibly deep understanding of the rapidly evolving digital media and streaming landscape with over 20 years of experience in digital media and business transformation.

Fred is a frequent speaker at some of the industry’s largest events, discussing hot topics such as digital media and streaming, and business transformation. If you’re keen to learn about the industry from one of the most influential in the business, Fred is the guy to follow.

Ian McKee

Company: Vuulr
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: vuulr.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ianmckee

Ian is the Founder and CEO of Vuulr, the largest global marketplace transforming the film and TV content ecosystem.

With over 20 years’ experience in the field of technology, digital marketing and disruptive innovations, Ian can often be found dicussing the sometimes complex topics of pay TV, OTT, broadcast content, FTA and business start-ups. To understand more about the OTT and streaming industry from someone ultimately transforming the TV content ecosystem, Ian is the man.

Kirby Grines

Company: 43Twenty
Based in: USA 🇺🇸
Website: thestreamingwars.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/kirbygrines

Having been the previous Co-Founder of Float Left, an industry-leading OTT technology provider, Kirby now runs 43Twenty, a marketing, consulting, and business development consultancy for the streaming video industry.

Alongside running 43Twenty, Kirby is also the creator of “The Streaming Wars”, a free weekly newsletter that curates the most impactful news and musings about the OTT space. Within his newsletter, you will find Kirby frequently addressing topics such as SVOD, D2C and UX, as trusted by media and entertainment executives from the likes of Hulu, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia and Sky.

Maaz Sheikh

Company: STARZPLAY
Based in: UAE 🇦🇪
Website: starz.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/maazsheikh

Maaz is the Co-Founder & CEO of STARZPLAY, one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment services, with his role encompassing on supporting the growth of the platform in the Middle East, Pakistan and Africa.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the media and technology sector, Maaz’s passion for emerging technologies and UX bleeds into the quality thought leadership content that he regularly posts. If you’re someone that wants to keep on top of the latest and hottest trends coming from the world of OTT, streaming and video consumption, particularly in the Middle East, Pakistan and Africa, Maaz very much has the keys to unlocking the insight you need.

Marion Ranchet

Company: The Local Act Consultancy
Based in: Netherlands 🇳🇱
Website: thelocalact.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/marionranchet

Marion currently runs The Local Act Consultancy, empowering streaming video services to launch and grow in Western Europe. With 17 years of experience in the industry, and as a film and TV lover, she advises SVOD, AVOD and FAST services on how to launch and grow in Europe through her deep knowledge of the varying markets, and with a strong content offering and distribution​ network in place.

You will often see Marion sharing incredibly useful nuggets of information on LinkedIn, such as her recent posts on ‘how to go global in streaming’ and ‘Gen Zs relationship with streaming’. If you’re looking to soak up key industry knowledge, Marion is someone you definitely need in your network.

Matthew Duhig

Company: FX Digital
Based in: UK 🇬🇧
Website: fxdigital.uk
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/matthewduhig

Considering we’re writing a blog about thought leaders in the OTT space, we had to include our own Co-Founder Matt. Starting FX Digital in 2011 with childhood friend Tom Smith, Matt has grown the company from a web development agency with 2 staff, evolving it into one of London’s fastest-growing tech companies with a Connected TV-first approach.

Having worked in and around the OTT space for six years, Matt has developed vast knowledge of the OTT, Connected TV and streaming sector. He can often be found giving his opinions on the way users consume media and the fragility of start-up culture, alongside the hot topic of fragmentation.

Nick Meacham

Company: SportsPro Media
Based in: UK 🇬🇧
Website: sportspromedia.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/nickmeacham

Nick is the CEO of SportsPro Media, the premier publisher, advisory and events business driving the digital transformation of global sports. Nick’s expertise is built around the burgeoning digital and OTT landscape transforming sports consumption, and he spends much of his time advising sports industry stakeholders on how to tackle the sports broadcasting revolution.

Nick is often found giving his opinion on the ever-evolving sports streaming landscape, delving deeper into media rights, broadcasting and technology.

Nick also hosts the StreamTime podcast which profiles the leading people and organisations across streaming and digital sports. Well worth a listen.

Paul Bojarski

Company: Sceenic
Based in: UK 🇬🇧
Website: sceenic.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/paulbojarski

As the CEO of Sceenic, a Watch Together solution powering the world’s best co-viewing experiences, Paul has a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to media and entertainment.

Often speaking at major industry events, Paul has run businesses around the world, gaining lots of experience in the process, and there’s certainly a thing or two you can learn from Paul. If you’re keen to connect with someone who knows the entertainment and video consumption industry like the back of his hand, look no further.

Yann Colléter

Company: TvToday
Based in: UAE 🇦🇪
Website: tvtoday.io
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/yanncolleter

Yann is the Founder of TvToday, helping businesses to licence premium VOD and FAST content in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Yann’s primary focus is helping content creators in the Middle East thrive, unlocking opportunities to increase their revenue streams and deliver a killer content strategy.

With extensive knowledge of the OTT space having entered the streaming realm over ten years ago, Yann can often be seen giving his opinion on future content trends, as well as key information about all of the major players within the OTT industry. Yann has also launched a newsletter packed full of insightful content to help you better understand the OTT market in the Middle East and North Africa. To learn more about SVOD pricing strategies, FAST models, linear vs on-demand and more, sign up here.

All sixteen of these thought leaders are helping to shape and redefine an ever-growing industry, offering highly sought-after insights and thought leadership on everything to do with video streaming. Be sure to follow or connect with these thought leaders on LinkedIn and check out their websites to gain further insights into the world of OTT.