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Has FAST Reached Critical Mass?

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Learn more about ad-supported OTT at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Allan McLennan: When you're pulling together your modeling and your strategy and moving things forward with Xumo, is the model now with FAST, are the numbers for reach and engaging the viewer as strong as what it was in past times on broadcast? I mean, let's face it. Yes, GRPs and the elements that were always common measurement numbers were there, but now, because of being able to identify and engage each viewer specifically, even through FAST, are the reach numbers really compelling. And are we going to start seeing that shift over into FAST as well? I mean, like we said, Tubi is going to have $1 billion revenue this year for Fox. I mean, that's pretty impressive.

Anthony Layser: Yeah. I think that the scale is becoming really interesting to a lot of major companies whose main revenue was previously coming from MVPDs. So you certainly see companies like A & E and Discovery and the major the major networks really starting to build out their channels for specifically FAST platforms. All the major networks already have a news product. So, ABC and CBS and, NewsNow from Fox. So they're starting to build out specifically some of those products. Then there are others that are taking smaller MVPD channels and sort of tweaking them for the space. You'll see, it'll be called "Fuse XL" rather than Fuse, which was previously a MVPD. Or you'll have Ion Plus.

They're also starting to take some over-the-airs now and moving over-the-air into a FAST. And why is all this happening? It's because the scale is there. The revenue is there that makes those sorts of channel variations specifically custom for this space worth it. That's a big difference from four years ago, five years ago, when I joined Xumo and you were taking sometimes a lot of YouTube product or short-form product and trying to create that into a linear channel. Now, that's not really the case. There were certainly like YouTube-style companies take like a Jukin that are an aberration in that they were able to actually pivot into this space and have success with brands like Fail Army and People Are Awesome. But that's very rare. The way things are moving right now, FAST platforms look a lot like traditional TV.

It's really hard to differentiate. And what really drove that forward was Viacom acquiring Pluto a couple of years ago and infusing that platform with a huge amount of Viacom catalog. And then suddenly you have them popping up Ru Paul's Drag Race channel, and Teen Mom channel and taking those Viacom TV brands, and then really really leaning into those. Like you said, Fox bought Tubi, Comcast bought Xumo, and so we're all kind of trying to differentiate our platforms, but also there are certainly channels that are consistent across all of those as well as the other big players in the space, which are Samsung TV Plus, the Roku channel. Samsung TV Plus is a very, very interesting platform to look at, and the way it's integrated into those devices. Samsung is the number one-selling smart TV in the United States. And so suddenly you have what used to just be a device is now the home or this integrated Samsung TV Plus FAST experience.

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