FAST Channels. 7 Key Issues to Understand

FAST is the ultimate hot topic in the media sector and lately, every player in the field seems to talk about it. But what is a FAST channel and why is it advisable for content owners (and not just TV-related ones) to invest in this new revenue source? We have 7 reasons to offer you!


FAST-image1FAST is an acronym that stands for “free ad-supported streaming TV” services; so they are basically linear television channels offered to viewers not through terrestrial broadcasting, cable or satellite, but via internet connection on CTVs (connected televisions), desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and, potentially, every connected device.

Nothing new, one may think, it is just the delivery system that is different, no comparison with Netflix's subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) revolution. And yet, analysts indicate this new internet television sub-sector as the most promising one in the next few years.

This seems to be reflected in the growing number of big companies investing in this new medium like Viacom, which acquired Pluto, the FAST market leader, in 2019, Fox, which purchased Tubi afterwards, and NBCU, which launched Peacock. Not to mention Google, which is about to launch 50 free live television channels, according to the most recent industry reports.

There are multiple motives behind the increasing interest in this new medium, but, partner companies MediaMelon and Nowtilus decided to point out 7 key reasons that appear to be highly relevant:

  • A growing market far from saturation

    The US FAST market will reach $4.1 billion in 2023 with 216 million monthly active users (Netflix has about 220 million in 2022): a number that will continue to grow (source: nScreenMedia).
    A similar growth but at a slower rate is expected in eastern countries, including Europe.
    So this is definitely the best time to invest.

  • Lightweight infrastructure and low cost of implementation

    FAST is linear television without the complex infrastructure of traditional TV channels since all the data is processed via the internet. So it is very easy to set up and implement if you have the right partners beside you.

  • A potentially limitless number of channels

    Forget about bandwidth issues: FAST channels run over the internet so the potential number of channels is limitless.
    Just don’t forget that content is (always) king, so serving the niches is good but you have to offer them good products!

  • A medium to make your inventory count

    Old shows, movies or TV series that would probably not be picked in an SVOD environment can still have a chance to thrive on FAST channels thanks to this medium's immediacy and free nature.

  • No cost for the viewer, no churn rate

    In a world full of subscriptions and transactions like the OTT TV one, FAST channels are completely free, targeting also that part of the audience not paying for or abandoning SVOD services.

  • Advanced delivery insights and revenue optimizations

    FAST content providers and platforms are always anxious to improve the monetization of their content through more effective delivery and reporting of targeted in-stream ads. Advanced tools for improving the quality of linear stream delivery have been extended to also ensure the quality level of inserted ad content does not detract from an overall seamless experience.
    Additionally, it becomes critical to continuously track ad delivery failures, fraud and blocking attempts using comprehensive client player-level instrumentation. As a bonus, this increased level of detail and visibility of performance on a client by client, network by network basis offers the context to make rapid, impactful decisions that improve monetization strategy.

  • Extremely targeted ad insertion and high ad revenue

    With the right partners on hand, ad insertion on FAST channels is dynamic and targeted at the household level or even individual level with a sure return on the investment (ROI).

You can dive deeper into these 7 points by reading the full article on the Nowtilus Serverside.ai blog. Or please contact the MediaMelon team for the latest information on tools to support FAST business objectives.

With their sophisticated ad-insertion platform, Nowtilus has been helping broadcasters, operators and publishers to drive viewer engagement and surge content monetization for years. Our streaming intelligence partner, MediaMelon, offers a full range of complementary analytics tools that underpin the positive feedback loop for monetization identified above.
You can reach out and ask questions about FAST channels, video ad monetization, and streaming distribution models via the contact form on their website or their LinkedIn page!

This is a collaborative article by Nowtilus and MediaMelon.

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