Free, Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) channels are flourishing with no sign of slowing down. With the potential to reach new audiences and usher in new partnerships, life in the FAST lane holds promise for broadcasters but will most benefit those equipped to navigate the complex array of nuances that accompany this rapidly evolving business.
The data paints a salient picture. New metrics from research firm TVREV project that by 2025 the ad spend on FAST channels will surpass that of cable, broadcast or subscription-based services and reach $33.7 billion, or 35% of total ad spend, a significant leap from the 17% earmarked for FAST this year. Additionally, the average consumer uses more than 11 video services, with ad-supported apps quickly eclipsing their subscription-based counterparts, according to TiVo.
The FAST environment is impacting local broadcasters in a variety of ways. For many, it is a matter of when, not if, they wade into the water. While consolidation inevitably looms down the line, the time is now to make decisions. To help ease the process, MASC is sharing wisdom from executives who are on the front lines during this time of mass FAST channel proliferation.