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What Is FAST Channel?

What is a FAST channel?

In the world of film and TV content consumption, a relatively new format has been gaining momentum among viewers and advertisers alike: Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television, or FAST. This model offers a hybrid approach, combining elements of traditional TV viewing with the modern conveniences of streaming platforms. Let's explore what FAST channels are, how they function, and why they're becoming a popular choice in the streaming media ecosystem.

What is FAST Channel?

FAST channels are digital streaming services that provide viewers with free TV and film content, supported by advertising and without the need for a subscription fee. Unlike on-demand TV content, like what Netflix offers, FAST channels stream scheduled programming on a continuous loop, much like traditional broadcast or cable TV, but with the added convenience of accessibility on any internet-supported device, such as Connected TVs, smartphones, or tablets. Viewers do not select individual programs to watch; instead, they choose from a variety of channels that offer predetermined schedules with fixed programming.

Growth and Popularity of FAST Channels Worldwide

The concept of FAST is rapidly growing due to its cost-effective nature for consumers. It offers them the ability to watch television content without a subscription fee, making it an attractive option for those looking to avoid the costs associated with traditional cable services and premium streaming platforms. Another appealing aspect of FAST channels is that they simplify the viewing experience by eliminating the decision-making process about what to watch.

As of last year, the adoption of FAST services experienced significant growth, especially in regions overflowing with streaming choices, such as the United States. By May 2024, the U.S. boasted approximately 2,000 different FAST channels. Additionally, it was reported that over 55% of TV streamers had already begun tuning into FAST channels. While the rest of the world has been slower to adopt the technology, it is projected that the UK, Canada, and Australia will soon become the biggest FAST channel markets after the US.

Types of FAST Channels

FAST channels vary widely in their content focus and scope, catering to diverse viewer interests and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the types of FAST channels commonly available:

Niche FAST Channels

Niche FAST channels target specific interests or demographics, providing content tailored to particular hobbies, genres, or communities. For instance, Scream Factory TV  focuses exclusively on horror films, while Yoga Fit offers a continuous stream of yoga and wellness programming. These channels appeal to viewers deeply interested in a subject and provide advertisers with a highly targeted audience.

Mainstream FAST Channels

These channels resemble traditional broadcast and cable networks by offering a broad array of programming aimed at a wide audience. Pluto TV offers a variety of mainstream channels, including Pluto TV Movies, which features a mix of popular films across genres. They are designed to attract a general audience and are suitable for advertisers looking to reach a larger demographic.

Single IP FAST Channels

Single IP FAST channels focus on content from one specific brand or franchise. An example is the Star Trek Channel, available on Pluto TV, which streams episodes from various Star Trek series around the clock. In 2023, NBCUniversal's Peacock led the U.S. FAST platform landscape with the highest percentage of single IP channels, contributing 40 percent of its total content from individual intellectual properties. In comparison, Samsung TV Plus featured a significantly lower share of single IP content, with just 14 percent. These channels are a treasure trove for fans of the franchise or series, providing endless entertainment centered around their favorite characters and stories. 

Multiple IP FAST Channels 

In contrast to single IP channels, multiple IP channels feature a variety of shows and movies from different sources. Tubi TV is an example of a multiple IP channel, offering an extensive catalog ranging from reality TV shows to blockbuster movies and classic films, sourced from various studios and content providers. This type is particularly appealing to viewers who enjoy different genres or styles and appreciate a mix of programming. 

The Role of Advertisers

For advertisers, FAST channels provide a unique opportunity to reach audiences in a medium that combines the targeting capabilities of digital advertising with the broad reach of traditional TV. Ads are typically shorter, more targeted and dynamic, tailored to the digital audience, making them less intrusive while still effectively reaching their target demographic. Overall, the enhanced targeting of advertisements on FAST channels has positively shifted viewers' attitudes towards ads. In fact, 40% of respondents report being receptive to watching ads, provided they are relevant to their interests.

About allrites

allrites is a premier marketplace for buying and selling film and TV rights. We provide a vast catalog of Film and TV content, from major studios to independent producers, available in any language and genre. Our innovative licensing models, including allrites Content-as-a-Service, offer flexible and efficient solutions for content monetization and acquisition, accommodating the evolving needs of content buyers and sellers worldwide.

Contact us to learn more about us and our revolutionary CaaS model.


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