Growing FAST Channels in a Crowded Market
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Chris Pfaff: One of the things that I find very interesting is that we're seeing more competition with FAST--Samsung TV Plus, Roku channel, Vizio, Pluto, Plex, Stirr, Xumo, Redbox, and many others. And of course, you know, one of the ones that I've been following because I've known Tom Ryan for a million years is Pluto TV, which is now taking over Europe. But does this all suggest that superior experiences + free equals a winning strategy against major SVOD services? What do you think, Chris Yates?
Chris Yates: The answer is yes. I don't know if that's the end of the story.
Chris Pfaff: Good answer! Tell me more.
Chris Yates: The customer experience is definitely important. Finding ways for customers to easily find your service and, and frankly, fall in love with it is really, really important. Content is at the center of all of that, because at the end of the day, the content that you have is the only way that you'll ultimately sustain a good audience. Having said that, the other areas of it that are in some ways just as important are, how do you tell your customers, or how do you find customers? It's a little harder to find customers than it used to be. You're constantly looking at new ways to attract customers. And then the last part--this is why Nick is such an important person in the room--is distribution. Now, the gatekeepers, the most important people in the room, are the equipment manufacturers, the OEMs. And so we spend a lot of time there.
Chris Pfaff: Who would have thought? Duh! A quick side note to Damian--you're on Samsung TV Plus in the UK, right? That's a very, very cool deal. Sorry, Nick, we're talking Samsung for just a second. And by the way, full disclosure, I have a Samsung Curved. I also have a lot of Sony gear. But Damian, that would seem to be a real breakthrough in terms of that kind of TVOD (or however we want to call it) distribution.
Damian Pelliccione: It's all FAST. And we're not just in USA and UK. We launched Mexico quietly in March, and we're launching three more territories over the next couple of months. Samsung TV Plus is our biggest output right now. Revry is global--sorry, I'm losing my voice here--we've been downloaded in 130 countries with our direct consumer apps, which are powered by Brightcove Beacon, which we also helped to design. We actually were part of that entire process, giving that tribrid approach, but those FAST channels that you see in our live EPG and our DTC apps, we syndicate now to almost 50 national touchpoints. Outside of just the people here and other territories. And I will tell you whenever we have announcements--like we just announced the UK on May 12th--I'm inbounded. My LinkedIn is like backed up by 1,000 messages. And all of a sudden we have one from South Africa and one from Vietnam and another one from India, and they all want Revry on all their services. So I'm kind of like the Oprah of "You get a FAST channel, and you get a FAST channel and an HLS and an HLS. " And our playout--no offense to Amagi, it's great--we work with Wurl, but predominantly frequency is our playout system that we use. We are one of the beta users there. And we use that for our robust kind of scheduling tool to play out and see the environments that they are a preferred vendor. And if not it's Wurl, but you can make me a bid if you want. We're doing business while we're having this panel. Why not, right?
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DISH Media's Andrew Tint and Redbox' Chris Yates discuss the challenges of launching a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel in an increasingly fragmented and crowded OTT marketplace at Streaming Media Connect 2021.
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