Date: 12 October 2023
When there was hype about on-demand streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and so on, FAST Channels took a quiet approach to the entertainment industry. There were talks around abolishing linear TV, and that’s when FAST came with a linear experience available on streaming platforms.
Where there is no need for traditional cable or paid services, the contents are free and available online. Consumers can use Connected TVs (CTVs) to experience FAST Channels contents where the TV or the set-top-box is connected through the internet.
Streaming service providers like Amazon have even launched Fire Channel to provide FAST Channel services. Likewise, other streaming service providers are experimenting with Free and Ad-supported Channels while incorporating the business model in their streaming services.
In one of the reports, Variety VIP+ mentioned that FAST Channels was established in 2020 and continues to rise. They also cite that the consumption rate was 6% that year, whereas Plex (FAST Channels provider) now has a consumption rate of 30%.
FAST Channels are doing an incredible job in the entertainment world. It generates billions of dollars in revenue, attracting the industry to provide more FAST services to consumers. There have already been multiple players in the market establishing their presence in a few years.
The increasing popularity made Viacom purchase Pluto TV in January 2020 for $340 million. In the same year, in February and March, Comcast and Fox acquired Xumo TV and Tubi for more than $100 million and $440 million, respectively.
Pluto TV, Xumo, Tubi, Peacock, The Roku Channels, IMDb TV, and Samsung TV+ are prominent in the market now, with Pluto having approximately 28.4 million and Xumo having 10 million monthly users.
Hulu+Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Philo also have a prominent presence in the FAST Channel space with their on-demand and linear TV offerings.
The growth of FAST Channels is revolutionary in the US. It is yet to be established in India, but its popularity is already seen through the few FAST channels the media offer. Television networks such as Zee and QYOU receive immense consumer support and ad revenues through their FAST Channels offering.
Reports suggest FAST Channels will be the only entertainment medium in the next few years as the free model works well in the Indian market. It will be the most convenient and hassle-free mode of entertainment where consumers won’t have to pay or look for suitable content every time they log in to the streaming platforms.
FAST Channels are not subscription-based; ads are the only way to generate revenue. But do consumers like to stream ads in between the shows of their interests?
Well, the service providers also get through the solution. Unlike linear TV, in FAST Channels, the ads are customised and interactive. The niche and customisation through interest, demographics, and choices have made the ads entertaining to hook consumers throughout.
Also, the timing has been reduced to seven to ten minutes for one hour. Whereas earlier, it was ten to fifteen minutes for an hour, which bore the consumers and made them switch between channels.
However, now that there is a solution for every linear TV experience within the streaming service space online, ad revenues are increasing drastically. A report by Global Market Intelligence suggests that the revenue generated in 2022 was approximately $4 billion, and it will double by 2026 to $ 9 billion.
Another report suggests an investment in ads of $25 billion in the FAST Channel space. There was also a twenty times increase in ad viewership in twelve months, reported by Amagi.
The above reports advocate a fast-paced advertisement space through FAST Channels in the near future. With active customisation, analytics and advanced technology, advertisement companies can do wonders for the entertainment industry through engaging content distribution to the target audience.
FAST Channels are making a change in the way people consume content online. They are bringing the experience of traditional television viewing and online streaming together for free. The blend has grabbed most eyeballs, taking the entertainment world into a storm.
The model benefits not only the consumers but the business by generating massive revenue through ads and the target audience.
The free Ad-supported model is here to stay, bringing revolution to the entertainment industry through its free content. The format will change the consumers’ streaming habits, where they will be used to a more convenient and vast pool of content such as shows, daily soups, movies, sports, and so on.
If you are looking for a trusted partner to help you with including FAST in your streaming platform, Logituit has your back. Let’s talk about how we can help you with the FAST Channels and give it a global presence ASAP!
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