Are FAST services easier when it comes to streaming content -- or are they just good for lazy TV consumers?
FAST services are great when you need to “stumble” upon content. Nearly 60% of respondents say so, according to music platform Vevo and media agency holding company Publicis Media.
The perception is that those program guides are just enough to give viewers “something” to watch.
This implies some "casualness" by the consumer -- with no need to devote a specific time in the evening to watch, for example, a new episode or season of “The Bear,” “Only Murders in the Building” or “Stranger Things.”
You can easily dip into some content -- and then leave (perhaps even before the episode has been complete). There’s casual dining. This is casual TV.
There is also greater perception that -- at least in the minds of consumers -- it is free. Of course that may be a little misleading: You are still giving up some entertainment viewing time to get distracted or disrupted by TV commercials-viewing time you probably can’t fast forward through.
But that isn’t enough. The Vevo/Publicis Media study says now those FAST services need to go deeper in terms of "building affinity."
Does that mean adding some original programming options? Some FAST channels -- including Tubi TV, Pluto TV, Amazon FreeVee and the Roku Channel -- may be doing this by dipping their toes in the water and sprinkling in some fresh programming on their schedules.
Still, that’s not really why consumers watch those platforms. If FAST TV is non-appointment TV, adding original programming doesn’t seem to be a smooth incorporation to how these existing services operate.
In the past you had the likes of legacy pay TV providers such as DirecTV and Spectrum offering up their own original programming channels -- among 200 to 300 that viewers might be more aware of.
Now that all takes a back seat. Will that happen with FAST platforms?
The overall downside is that you may watch something with half-interest, perhaps jumping in right in the middle of a “Cheers” episode you watched some years ago. So perhaps the advertising content may also be consumed at a lower level.
FAST networks may appear to partly dismiss the whole pressing issue around the discovery of specific programming.
If that’s the case, what’s the long-term wrinkle amid FAST growth? Slow, idling viewing malaise?