Panelists: Katina Papas Wachter, Roku; Scott Maddux, Xperi; Philippe Guelton, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, and Katie Long, BeachFront

Streaming Ad TV panel: 55% of US TV consumers watch FAST channel or platform to some extent
Maribel Ramos-Weiner|19 de agosto de 2022

In the US, 55% of TV consumers watch FAST channels or platforms to some extent, this represents an increase of nine percentage points in half a year and there is a perception that FAST offers great value. These were some of the facts discussed on the panel "A Deep Dive into the Industry: Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST): How Far Can It Go?" held at the virtual event StreamTV Advertising Summit.

The panel included Katina Papas Wachter, Head of Ad Revenue Strategy, The Roku Channel; Scott Maddux, VP of Content & BD Strategy, Xperi; Philippe Guelton, President of Crackle Plus and Head of VOD Networks for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, and Katie Long, Head of Sales for BeachFront. Peter Fondulas, Hub Entertainment Research, acted as moderator.

For Maddux, the quality of content on FAST services such as Pluto TV and Freevee has been key to its growth.

Maddux added that original content is a stand-out element as well and that exclusive content has a huge impact. He mentioned the case of the Bond channel with exclusive James Bond programming for Pluto TV that has attracted large audiences. “This content is key to generating attention in such a crowded space".

For Papas Wachter of The Roku Channel, it's all about value and the options you can offer. “It's important to have a mix of originals and library content. Originals are the carrot to attract people, but you also have to have good reviews to keep them hooked to the service in the face of other options on the market that keep popping up”.

Roku wasn't the first service on FAST to offer originals, but they have learned from the others. “This is our most successful year, we have an Originals brand and we are building momentum. With these contents we are appealing to different types of audience, more affluent and much more knowledgeable, younger and more diverse” said Papas Wachter.

For Long of Beachfront, advertisers should invest in FAST because “it is important to follow the audience". "There is more transparency and metadata is placed around the content”. She added that a key to the success of these services is that they strive to make sure that the user can discover the content easily.

Asked about the future of FAST, the attendees quoted a report by Variety that mentions that there are currently 34,000 FAST channels.

"FAST can solve user decision fatigue and there's also the issue of cost," said Papas Wachter.