SVOD and AVOD have gained much attention in the last six years. They have actively contributed massive success to several streaming media platforms. One thing that is not being predicted is the rise of FAST channels. There has been tremendous growth in FAST streaming because people love watching free content without any prior commitment. It has become widely popular globally for several reasons such as diversified content, free service, etc. FAST is described in two words – Free and Ad Supported. These channels provide both linear and on-demand streaming to the audience. Despite a smaller number of audiences, FAST is growing very quickly. In the United States, a large group of audience is choosing FAST platforms over cable or satellite TV platforms and thus it is giving rise to the birth of multiple FAST streaming platforms globally.
Adoption of the FAST channel is rapid because it is free to watch, doesn’t require a dedicated set-up like cable or Pay TV, and provides a vast array of linear and on-demand content to the viewers. People find it a convenient replacement for traditional Pay TV with hundreds of free-to-watch and 24/7 accessible channels without any cord connection.
What does FAST mean?
FAST stands for Free Ad-supported Streaming TV. The service includes streaming linear TV programs without paying for any subscription. It is an extended version of traditional TV that is streamed over internet-connected devices like CTV. These channels stream the programs that people would usually watch over the TV, like Old TV shows and movies accessible on-demand and a mix of TV and digital programs.
Examples of FAST streaming – Pluto TV, Xumo, Tubi, Peacock, The Roku Channel, IMDBTV, and Samsung TV+.
Types of FAST services:
- Platform Agnostic – It means the FASTs are accessible over several operating systems like Pluto TV, Roku, Peacock, and Xumo
- Platform Exclusive – Only accessible one operating platform like LG, Samsung TV+, and VIZIO watch free
What is the difference between FAST and AVOD?
You might be thinking FAST is the same as AVOD…right?
No, it’s not the same as AVOD
Even though the only way to watch content on both of these formats is to watch ad-supported content, there is a difference in content distribution.
FAST platforms host channels that deliver scheduled programming to a large group audience through the connected device and AVOD platforms initiate individual viewing sessions that produce inventory to serve the audience with personalized ads.
Why should content distributors think about FAST?
Content creators should consider investing in FAST because it can help them build a large subscriber base. FAST is renowned for its enhanced user experience, hence, providing personalized content to an audience can help distributors boost the number of users.
Content creators can create their FAST channel and distribute content from their existing SVOD or AVOD libraries. They can also create channels for short-form content. It is easy to create and launch FAST channels quickly. It provides a huge opportunity to use older content libraries to build niche FAST channels for revenue generation and drive subscriptions for premium content.
Why is FAST Streaming Important?
FAST streaming is important because you can target the entire linear audience. The FAST channel is the summit of TV programs on the internet. And it will be a bonus to drive a TV audience to your on-demand platform by offering a mix of both TV programs and on-demand content. Revenue is derived from ads by scheduling ads between the contents or before and after the contents. As a result, you can make huge money from commercial revenue too.
Is FAST a successful evolution of Linear TV
Yes, the positive viewer perception is the major cause of people getting fascinated with FAST channels. Soon it is going to be larger with noteworthy signs of progress in the FAST TV experience. The positive viewer acuity has allowed operators to place the FAST channels in the central spot of the application to make it visible to their audience. Availing the FAST channels easily to the audience offers positive results by providing viewers with the opportunity to access something entertaining without wasting too much time
Another major reason FAST is a successful evolution of linear TV is the flashing innovation. Revealing a large content library can attract new audiences to explore something that’s been away from their watch list.
What is the future of FAST channels?
The FAST market is booming and in the last 3 years, it has given birth to 20 FAST service providers in the US with a span of over 1000 channels. The future of FAST is bright because it is providing a massive opportunity for media distributors to explore new revenue streams and reach a new base of audience digitally.
The universal spread of on-demand services in past years has led to – choice fatigue in consumers. Therefore, nowadays they are searching for a lean-back, passive viewing experience. Consumers are also preferring to choose an ad-supported format to eliminate subscription charges.
With abundant internet connectivity, connected TV devices are dominating the market. Content providers can use this opportunity to align with the evolving consumption habits and convey an unparalleled scale of video content over IP.
FAST is rapidly gaining traction and becoming a popular consumption format for several users globally. It can be a revenue game-changer for content distributors or media companies that are ready to act immediately. If media owners don’t aim to capture maximum eyeballs, then they are at the risk of missing out on the emerging opportunity of exploring new revenue streams. Lastly, we would like to suggest – Understand FAST and React FAST.
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