5 Intriguing Media Innovators to Keep an Eye On

Written by
Hayden Gilmer
Published on
October 12, 2023

In the modern media industry, a select group of companies are trying to change the status quo. These next-gen innovators are pushing the boundaries of how we engage with content and entertainment. Keep reading for some of the names currently making waves:

1. Telly: Revolutionizing Television

Telly is trying to flip the world of TV monetization on its head. At its core is a groundbreaking dual-screen TV, where the primary screen delivers your favorite shows while a smaller screen below takes advertising to a whole new level.

The unique twist here? The second “smart screen” serves up a steady stream of ads that are always visible but that don’t interrupt your main programming. It even offers thoroughly modern features like video calling, instant news and sports updates, voice control, and more. With a built-in camera, fitness programs become interactive, and there's no shortage of included games.

What's really fascinating is that Telly doesn't make its money from selling the TV hardware itself. Instead, they provide these TVs for free, supported by the ads displayed on the second screen and the household data volunteered by users. 

It's a bold bet that consumers will trade their data for free TV sets and personalized, less intrusive ads, but they’ve made some major early headway. With notable partnerships including Nielsen, Microsoft, Magnite, and MNTN, Telly is gearing up to distribute 500,000 free TVs by the end of 2023.

2. Atmosphere: Elevating Ambient TV

Atmosphere's ambient TV screens are perfect for commercial spaces, and offer digital signage!

Ambient TV is a concept that’s riding the wave of public enthusiasm towards relaxing, unobtrusive media that serves as a welcome background instead of the main attraction. (Think: ASMR, but less kooky.)

Enter Atmosphere, a trailblazer in this realm. Rather than competing for your full attention, they've become experts at subtly complementing the ambiance in places like fitness centers, local pubs, dentist waiting rooms, and cozy cafes.

Based in Austin, Texas, Atmosphere is a global over-the-top video on-demand service designed for business environments. What sets them apart is their ability to create and curate content, thanks to partnerships with media outlets like Red Bull TV. (We’re personally fans of the Drone Footage and Paws channels over here.)

Their business model is straightforward and honestly kind of ingenious. They provide businesses with a free streaming device, turning any TV into a canvas for background visuals. Like Telly, Atmosphere relies on ad revenues to keep their services free for businesses: they even offer the option to create easy digital signage!

Boasting partnerships with big names like Burger King, Taco Bell, and Crunch Fitness, Atmosphere is on a promising trajectory to become a familiar player in commercial spaces. 

3. Roku: Redefining Advertising

Roku's embrace of contextual advertising offers a promising and refreshingly simple new approach for ad delivery.

As we increasingly turn to streaming platforms, advertisers are vying for our attention without disrupting our binge-watching sessions. Roku, known for simplifying content aggregation, is now setting new standards in the advertising world.

Their secret weapon? Contextual advertising. Instead of navigating the maze of targeting complications that have long plagued the TV world, Roku uses AI to match ads with the programming you're watching. This means you'll see ads that align with your interests without trying to leverage reams of your personal data - making for a more engaging and refreshingly non-invasive viewing experience.

For advertisers, this approach is a game-changer. Roku isn't just a streaming platform; they're reshaping how ads reach us, making it feel both more personal and less intrusive. 

Well done, Roku. 

4. Waymark: Gen-AI TV Advertising for Small Businesses

You know we couldn't compile this list without saying hello! We’re Waymark - a generative AI-based video creator that's democratizing TV advertising for small businesses. 

With our proprietary system of 13 AI models and creative templates, we can instantly generate customized commercials for small businesses, with just a URL.

This means even your local cafe or pet grooming service can advertise on TV. We've partnered with industry giants like Gray TV, Spectrum Reach, FOX TV Stations, Beasley Media Group, and Morgan Murphy Media to make TV and streaming accessible to small businesses across the USA.

Our technology has been featured in Adweek, AdAge, Forbes, Variety, and Hubspot, and we're just getting started.

5. Tablo: The Modern OTA TV Experience

In an age where streaming rules the screen, Tablo is making a daring bet on the future of over-the-air TV. Their sleek, contemporary device modernizes the traditional concept of OTA programming, offering a flexible way to enjoy your favorite broadcast shows.

Tablo is designed to resonate with younger audiences, combining a touch of nostalgia (and free TV) with the flexibility of streaming. It's not just about recording shows; it's about reimagining our interaction with over-the-air TV in a constantly streaming world.

Bold media ideas like this are constantly reshaping our content game. Stay plugged in – these trendsetters are just a few of the names hitting shuffle on the way we experience content. 


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