As streaming services continue to multiply and consumer budgets are feeling the squeeze from inflation and other factors, the proliferation of free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels is continuing unabated. There’s a channel dedicated to every genre imaginable, and with 60% of U.S. households watching at least one, it’s a good bet that the spread of FAST channels will carry on.
Last week, executives from three services that offer at least one FAST channel spoke about their success at the NAPTE Streaming Plus event, a conference that focuses exclusively on streamed content. The executives were quick to tout the success of single show FAST channels, according to Fierce Video.
“We give content to customers how they want it,” VP of digital distribution and business development at FilmRise Daniel Gagliardi said. “We have our own apps that sit on devices like Vizio, we have our own FAST channels that we program … the idea really is make it easy for customers to let them watch and single series is a way to do that.”
Gagliardi touted “Hell’s Kitchen” as a show with its own channel that has seen a lot of success. Because the show is not serialized but offers high brand recognition, it’s something viewers can recognize and engage with at a glance. That channel was added to Samsung TVs and free streamer Tubi earlier this year.
The key for content providers is to maximize the content’s value by bringing as many eyes to it as possible. That way, companies that operate FAST channels can justify charging advertisers more to air ads on the channels. Tastemade head of programming and streaming Jay Holzer noted the relationship between streaming platforms and content providers is a symbiotic one in this regard.
“We need the platforms to be successful at bringing in new audiences, and then merchandising our content or content of others to those audiences,” he said.
Platforms, content providers, and advertisers must be seeing that success because single-show FAST channels are continuing to sprout up across the TV landscape. Pluto TV recently added FAST channels dedicated to “CSI: New York” and “CSI: Miami,” and the number of FAST channels available continues to rise across the industry. With optimization techniques like single show channels proving a success, and with free channels driving big advertising dollars, expect the FAST takeover to continue.
Pluto TV is a free live TV streaming service that provides more than 350 channels of live TV and thousands of on demand movies and TV shows.
Most of what you’ll find on Pluto TV qualifies as “background television.” It’s fine to keep on while you’re scrolling on your phone or cooking something in the kitchen.
Because these aren’t traditional live TV channels, it’s not a great option for live events, news, or sports, but it’s a solid choice for cord cutters who want to supplement their other services with some “comfort food” TV. You’ll find channels dedicated to “Star Trek,” “CSI,” “Jersey Shore,” “Survivor,” and “The Amazing Race.”