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What are FAST Channels and What is its Future?

Ankit Jena Published on : 17 May 2024
FAST channels

 

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.

 

 

FAST Channels

 

What Are Fast Channels?

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

 

How does FAST Channels Work?

 

Content Curation:

Selection of Content: FAST channels curate a selection of content from various sources, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, and other video content. This content is usually licensed for streaming on the platform.

Categorization: The content is organized into categories or genres to make it easier for viewers to find content of interest.

 

Scheduling and Programming:

Linear Programming: Similar to traditional TV channels, FAST channels often have a linear programming schedule. This means that content is scheduled to be broadcast at specific times, and viewers can tune in to watch scheduled programming.

On-Demand Options: In addition to linear programming, many FAST channels also offer on-demand options, allowing viewers to watch content at their convenience.

 

Ad Integration:

Ad-Supported Model: FAST channels rely on advertising revenue to provide free content to viewers. Advertisements are strategically placed within the programming, and viewers typically watch ads in exchange for accessing the content without subscription fees.

Targeted Advertising: Some FAST channels use targeted advertising, leveraging user data and viewing habits to deliver more relevant ads to the audience.

 

Distribution:

Platform Accessibility: FAST channels are usually accessible on various streaming platforms, smart TVs, and other connected devices. They may have their dedicated apps or be available through partnerships with streaming services.

Cross-Platform Integration: FAST channels often integrate with other streaming platforms, making it easier for viewers to discover and access the content. This cross-platform integration may involve partnerships with streaming devices, smart TVs, or even other streaming services.

 

Features of FAST TV Channel

 

Free Content Access for Viewers:

FAST TV Channel provides free access to a wide range of content for viewers. This allows users to enjoy a variety of movies, TV shows, and other video content without any subscription fees.

 

Stream Scheduled Content:

The platform allows content creators to schedule and stream their content at specific times. This feature enables a TV-like experience where viewers can tune in to watch their favorite shows or events at designated times.

 

Deliver Content to Larger Audiences:

FAST TV Channel is designed to reach a broad audience. By offering free content, it attracts a larger viewership, making it an attractive option for content creators looking to maximize their audience reach.

 

Compatible Across Devices and Browsers:

The platform is designed to be compatible with various devices and web browsers, ensuring accessibility for a diverse audience. Viewers can enjoy content on smartphones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, and other internet-enabled devices.

 

No Revenue Sharing:

One distinctive feature is the absence of revenue sharing. Content creators can monetize their content without having to share a portion of their earnings with the platform. This can be particularly appealing to independent creators and smaller production houses.

 

Analytics and Reporting:

FAST TV Channel provides analytics and reporting tools for content creators. This includes insights into viewership metrics, user demographics, and engagement analytics. Creators can use this data to understand their audience better and tailor their content strategy accordingly.

 

Monetization Opportunities:

While there may be no revenue sharing, the platform may offer various monetization options for content creators. This could include advertising opportunities, sponsorships, or other revenue streams that creators can leverage to generate income from their content.

 

User-Friendly Interface:

The platform features a user-friendly interface that makes navigation easy for viewers. This includes intuitive search and recommendation features, enhancing the overall user experience.

 

Content Curation and Recommendations:

FAST TV Channel may employ algorithms to curate and recommend content to users based on their viewing history and preferences. This helps users discover new content that aligns with their interests.

 

Community and Social Features:

To foster a sense of community, the platform may incorporate social features. This could include user comments, ratings, and sharing options, allowing viewers to engage with each other and with the content creators.

 

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.

FAST, FAST Streaming, What are FAST channels

 

Types of FAST Services:

 

Platform Agnostic FAST Services:

  • Pluto TV: Pluto TV is a leading platform-agnostic FAST service that offers a wide range of channels and on-demand content. It is accessible across various operating systems, including web browsers, mobile devices, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
  • Roku Channel: While Roku is a platform, its FAST service, Roku Channel, is available across multiple operating systems. Viewers can access it not only on Roku devices but also on web browsers, mobile apps, and certain smart TVs.
  • Peacock: NBCUniversal’s Peacock is another platform-agnostic FAST service. It provides a mix of on-demand content, live channels, and exclusive originals. Peacock is accessible on various devices and platforms, such as smart TVs, mobile devices, and web browsers.
  • Xumo: Xumo is a free streaming service that offers live and on-demand content. It is available on multiple platforms, including smart TVs, streaming devices, and mobile apps.

 

Platform Exclusive FAST Services:

  • LG Channels: LG Channels is a FAST service exclusive to LG smart TVs. It provides a range of free streaming content, including channels and on-demand shows, but it is limited to LG’s platform.
  • Samsung TV+: Samsung TV+ is a platform-exclusive FAST service available only on Samsung smart TVs. It offers a variety of channels and on-demand content to Samsung TV users.
  • VIZIO Watch Free: VIZIO Watch Free is a FAST service exclusive to VIZIO SmartCast TVs. It provides free streaming channels and on-demand content but is limited to VIZIO’s platform.

 

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. Incorporating podcast recording software makes it easy to create and launch FAST channels rapidly. 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.

 

 

FAST Providers Compared

FAST, FAST Streaming, What are FAST channels

 

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.

 

Conclusion

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

If you are planning to launch your own multi-device OTT streaming platforms, Muvi One is the finest choice that includes everything and is fully-managed from a single CMS. You can use Muvi One to start streaming TV channels, sports, news and events, and over-the-top video without any hassle. Start a free trial to experience flawless streaming. 

FAST channels

 

 

FAQs

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.

FAST stands for Free Ad-supported Streaming TV.

FAST channels are often available on streaming platforms or digital devices, making them easily accessible anytime, anywhere. Viewers can watch them on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or smart TVs without needing to tune in at specific times.

FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming Television) channels typically generate revenue through advertising. These channels offer free streaming content to viewers but interrupt the programming with advertisements.

Written by: Ankit Jena

Ankit is Content Writer for Muvi’s Marketing unit. He is a passionate writer with 5+ Years of Experience in Content Creation And Development. In his past time, he likes to dance, play football and google various things to quench his thirst for knowledge.

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