2021 Emerging Leaders – Discovery’s Simone Wicks-Meighan

The Fierce Video editorial team is proud to present its second annual Emerging Leaders Awards, recognizing the brightest young professionals rising up the ranks of the streaming TV industry. Throughout the months of May and June we’ll be featuring these profiles with each of our finalists. We will announce the winners during our StreamTV Show with an awards ceremony June 17 at 3:15 p.m. ET. Not yet registered for the StreamTV Show, running June 15-17? Be sure to register now and save your spot at this free virtual event!

Simone Wicks-Meighan/Discovery:

As the senior product manager for recommendations and personalization at discovery+, Simone Wicks-Meighan drives the strategic roadmap toward using machine learning to build relationships between Discovery and its subscribers. Through recommendations, her goal is to solve the streaming issues of viewer choice fatigue and decision paralysis. Simone leads a cross-functional team, building consumer-facing features and internal tools for Discovery’s programming and merchandising team that focus on the company’s core business goals of driving engagement and retention through the exposure of relevant content within our catalog. Before joining the Discovery team, Simone oversaw all internal and consumer-facing box customization features at FabFitFun.

What her colleagues are saying:

« Simone has earned the respect of her business, engineer and product peers establishing herself as a strong communicator and product leader in our newly launched discovery+ service. She consistently brings a unique combination of creativity, strong technical and product skills to all of her projects—a truly impressive member of our team! » – Karen Leever, president of Discovery U.S. Digital Products, DTC

« Simone’s attention to detail and interpersonal skills are outstanding. She knows her projects inside and out. She always satisfies the interests of the team and never lets changes get out of hand. » – Joe Tolerico, director of product growth at Discovery

Streaming Industry Q&A:

What streaming services do you subscribe to? 

In addition to discovery+, I personally subscribe to Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and PBS Passport.

Describe your biggest career highlight so far.

Though not a P0 for the January launch of Discovery’s new streaming platform, I shepherded the recommendation team to meet the deadline and successfully launch recommendations for all viewers on day 1. Our two types of recommendation rails, Recommended For You on the Home tab and You May Also Like on show pages, quickly became amongst the highest engaged rails on our platform, driving a significant portion of minutes watched.

What has been your biggest career learning experience?

One of the most valuable learnings of my career is realizing the importance of cultural fit. From fostering positive relationships with teammates to seeking the guidance of supportive leadership, these experiences have played a key role in shaping my career development.

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

I’m very excited to take on the challenge of expanding our platform globally. Especially, learning about the cultural differences in content preferences and tailoring our recommendation models to fit the needs of a wider audience.

2021 Emerging Leaders – Discovery’s Simone Wicks-Meighan
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