2020 Emerging Leaders - XUMO's Fern Feistel

Fern Feistel (XUMO)

The FierceVideo editorial team is proud to present its inaugural Emerging Leaders Awards, recognizing the brightest young professionals rising up the ranks of the streaming video and pay TV industry. Throughout the months of June and July we’ll be featuring these profiles with each of our finalists. We will announce the winners during our upcoming OTT Blitz Week of virtual panels happening during the last week in July.

Fern Feistel/XUMO:

Fern Feistel serves as XUMO’s SVP of marketing and content operations, focused on achieving overall business objectives, including building new and return audiences across owned and operated, enterprise and extended distribution end-points.

Feistel joined XUMO in 2015 and has been promoted twice, previously serving as VP of marketing, where she continues to be a part of the company’s executive management team in her expanded role. During her tenure at XUMO, Feistel has helped with leading cross-departmental strategies and achieving objectives that have directly led to a viewership increase of five times while also increasing total hours streamed by more than four times, and ultimately tripling XUMO's revenues year over year.

Prior to XUMO, Feistel served as managing director of social media for Bastion Elevate (formerly LFPR), an Orange County-based PR firm, where she developed and led social media campaigns for clients across multiple industries. She has also held several social and digital marketing positions since her start at Sony Pictures Entertainment. 

Feistel holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing, management and international business from Mount Saint Mary’s University.

What her colleagues are saying:

“Fern is an exemplary leader whose contributions to XUMO’s growth and success continue to have massive impact. An indispensable member of my executive team, I have seen her rise to every challenge and opportunity to take on increasing levels of responsibility with significant, measurable outcomes. Fern brings passion, integrity, team inspiration, and high achievement to her pivotal role at XUMO and is one of the industry’s most talented, impressive young leaders.” - XUMO CEO Colin Petrie-Norris

Streaming Industry Q&A:

What streaming services do you subscribe to?

HBO, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video. Additionally, although it doesn’t require a subscription, XUMO (which is free to all viewers) is also high on my watch list.

What are your favorite shows you’re watching in 2020?

"Insecure," "Jack Ryan," "The Boys," "The Mandalorian," "Cheer," "Succession" and "Vanderpump Rules."

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Building a successful, content-led editorial program for XUMO as the leading AVOD service. This program has reinforced XUMO’s industry-leading standards and allows us to work with over 20 distribution partners and over 190 channel partners to highlight the best-in-class programming available for free on XUMO.

What’s next for you in terms of new challenges in streaming TV?

Personalization and recommendations is something that’s often talked about in streaming TV. Because we do not require an account or login to use and enjoy XUMO for free, making intelligent recommendations to our viewers is a unique problem we’ve had to solve at XUMO. I’m excited to continue working with the team on our proprietary engine, Elixir, to optimize and give our viewers the best experience possible.