Free ad-supported Streaming TV services or FAST is chiefly streaming live TV without any subscription. These FAST channels extend the traditional linear TV channels like cable and satellite broadcasters to the modern internet-connected devices such as CTV. By inserting ads in between the shows, these FAST channels are offering streaming services without any required cost provided by the viewer which is the usual case of a subscription model.
Here one must remember the acute difference between AVOD and FAST. Ad-supported video on demand or AVOD is video-on-demand content that is backed by ads instead of a subscription. FAST is more or less the same thing with a minor change but that change brings a huge difference in the functioning of the streaming services. FAST is live TV content supported by the ads while on the other hand, AVOD is on-demand content supported by the ads. In nutshell, both the platforms are heading towards the same thing but with a different kind of content streaming.
The major point here is to remember that both platforms use advertisements to monetize their content. This eliminates the need for costly cable TV subscriptions. It is fundamentally time-trading since it takes the time of the viewer rather than the money.
There is a rapid increase in the viewership of FAST channels in developed countries. For instance, the USA has alone seen a huge rise in FAST channels in 2021. Compared to traditional television broadcasting, there are a lot of chances of barriers for FAST.
With the extreme expansion of available options in the entertainment sector, the market of free ad-supported TV is going to experience a major shakeout in the coming future. As per the supply-demand rules, it can be estimated that as the FAST proliferates, the established and recently flourished will experience a struggle to maintain the viewership.
Media companies have little power over deploying their data that can all weather these disruptions. All these can be tackled efficiently with the required analysis about the platform (specifically by artificial intelligence) by identifying which content is likely to engage the audience and which will not.
Rapid Growth Of Free Ad-Supported Television
The explosion of FAST is immense, mainstream service providers namely Pluto TV and Xumo are incredibly increasing their reach every day. It has primarily come as an antidote to both the viewers of traditional platforms and modern subscription platforms. With FAST, viewers can get different viewing experiences without any commitment, at zero cost.
Let’s understand the mature spaces in SVOD space: Netflix, Prime Videos, and Hulu have experienced a decline since the time Disney+ and HBO Max have heavily invested over their streaming content. As per the recent data of December 2021, the market share of mainstream streaming platforms has dropped drastically (38%).
All these entertainment platforms are by and large competing with each other whether through FAST, SVOD, AVOD or through other mediums, to turn the eyes of viewers and to generate revenue efficiently. As per the recent study by Streaming Media and Unisphere, 67% of the top services are attracting less than 1000 viewers on monthly basis. This shows the unsustainability of the business model. Still, there are many who are trying to be optimistic.
The shakeout is primarily coming for all those companies that are lacking in the strategy of looking towards data-driven growth. The present competition requires strong forward-looking analysis of the situation that ensures the FAST investment return in terms of increased viewership and revenue.
Data And Its Efficient Use
Many organizations that have adopted FAST have already established their revenue streams and major of them are accustomed to the broadcast and cable licensing revenue. While on the other hand, FAST Demands a tracking of revenue across multiple platforms, partners, regions, and monetization models.
The first step to initiate the deployment of your data is to Make it the normal way possible. For example, labeling the seasons and the episodes must be consistent. If you are using S1 E1, use it consistently and not go for E1S1. The minor space can bring inconsistency in the data and can confuse both the machines and the humans to analyze the data accurately.
For any platform, content performance is one aspect of revenue generation. FAST data also caries valuable insight that can help in generating new revenues. The delivery of the Free Ad-Supported TV services is specific to individuals and households.
Curated Tracking, Effective Management, And Developmental Approach
With the help of detailed and accurate use and utilization of historical data, one can lead to reliable analytics and later on a proper plan. A predictive analysis of the historical data can improve decisions in all aspects of the business, ranging from the content that you choose to the time in which you promote it.
The predictive strategy will help in the determination of who will survive the FAST shakeout. The role of data tools is quite an essential piece of the puzzle. AI tools can detect all those patterns and bring that inconsistency to the forefront. Product, marketing, and content spheres can take advantage of these insights.
To catch the light from the audience and generate revenue, you need to analyze when and how the audience is reacting in real-time and over a while.
Standing Above The Crowd
The arrival of high definition television and its increasing tentacles are proving the reality that cable infrastructure does not have the required bandwidth to carry high-quality pictures at one.
The challenge of that CTV era is related to the connectivity with the potential audience more rapidly than the competition. Since the present consumers have a lot of options, your content has to be different from the crowd and make a high level of satisfaction for the viewer.
One must choose a strategy most probably enabled by artificial intelligence to give power to the content, preferences, and the present trends going on in the society to win the loyal viewers who can connect with the content and services that your FAST is providing them exclusively.