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Walmart’s Vizio Acquisition and the Future of FAST

What do Walmart’s recent acquisition of Vizio and rumors of Amazon Prime absorbing Freevee tell us about the state of the FAST ecosystem? How can companies like Tubi and Fremantle optimize their FAST offerings in a shifting media landscape? Evan Shapiro, CEO, ESHAP, discusses this topic with Sam Harowitz, Head of Content Acquisitions & Partnerships, Tubi, and Laura Florence, SVP Global FAST Channels, Fremantle, in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2024.

Shapiro asks the panel about their thoughts on the impacts on the industry concerning Walmart’s Vizio acquisition and the rumors (at the time that this panel was conducted) that Amazon would fully absorb Freevee to focus on its new Prime Video service with ads.

“I think the interesting thing about both of those stories, for me, is that it demonstrates a shift and an addressable audience that is clearly yearning for a more comprehensive experience,” Harowitz says. He also believes that this predicts a continued acceleration of ad dollars moving from traditional methods to streaming video. For Tubi, in particular, he says, “It will allow us to reach deeper into catalogs with partners and access better, more premium content. It will also cause distributors to think about how they window content differently. At Tubi, we have over 455 content partners that bring 240,000 hours of movies and TV series to the service. What we've been thinking about over the last six months is the optimal content mix. Where are we seeing the highest level of engagement? And we've started to experiment with new content types and new content categories, and so I'm really excited about that.”

Shapiro asks Harowitz to clarify how Tubi precisely measures “engagement,” especially regarding data for advertisers.

“We look at a number of data points internally, and they vary from session viewing time to habitual behavior, how often someone's coming back to the platform,” Harowitz says. “We offer quite a depth and breadth of data points to [partners] in real-time. You can access real-time information on the Tubi platform, including impressions and CPMs. Ultimately, we believe that transparency with the content provider taking a risk in availing their content will benefit both the platform and the consumer when they think about coming to Tubi and engaging with content.”

Shapiro asks Florence, “As an IP owner, what's your take on this? How do you measure success?”

“We, as a partner, can be the biggest and the best advocate for our properties,” Florence says. “When we're given the tools to understand if the methods that we're using, the hundreds of millions of Facebook impressions that we can do for free just with the post, there's also targeted marketing things we can do with the spend.” With Tubi, she says, “I can actually track the marketing spend in real-time with the spend happening on Facebook driving into Tubi, and I can make sure my ROI is positive. I'm maximizing that. I know they're going to sell out ads. So that is actually a model for success for us. We can control it, and we can do it the best because we know the IP. We make it, and I think that's where there are multiple different ways [where] we can start to enhance that, with QR code integration and first-party apps that we can actually put in for all of our gamification content. So just sticking with that theme, I think the data helps us be better and to help both parties maximize.”

See videos of the full program from Streaming Media Connect February 2024 here.

We'll be back in person for Streaming Media NYC May 20-22, 2024. More details here.

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