FAST Channels Still Rising, But How Fast? And For What Viewers?

No worries. Those FAST channels will be around for a while. For one, Amazon Freevee is not closing down.

Company representatives say there are no changes for the free, ad-supported streaming video platform. This comes after a report saying Freevee could be closing down in the next several months.

That makes sense. Why would Amazon want to cut off another distribution arm of content -- a low-cost one at that -- for consumers who could theoretically connect with brand advertisers?

FAST channels have mostly inexpensive, low cost content-- unlike the high-cost and fresh TV and movie content that Netflix, Disney+, Max, and yes, Amazon Prime Video platform provides for its consumers and brands.

On the flip side, analysts believe that while there is decent usage for FAST channels, it is mostly at a lower engagement level.



Good news is that of those 1,400 FAST channels out there, many have less ads per hour than linear TV -- although far more than the more premium ad-supported streamers. 

So these free channels speak the truth in this regard: you get what you pay for.

For marketers while advertising avails on premium ad-supported streamers may be limited (around four to six minutes ad hour)  FAST programming can supplement those platforms.

Amazon as well as legacy media and others want it all. Amazon is still all about giving consumers lots of choice -- especially on its e-commerce site. 

Although high-spending linear TV advertising brands may not be flocking to FAST channels, enough small to medium size advertisers seem to be.  Think about both Pluto and Tubi -- owned by Paramount Global and Fox Corp., respectively.

Tubi, for example, racked up $1 billion in ad revenue for Fox Corp. The overall FAST market was projected to have taken in $6.3 billion in 2023.

FAST channels come in all shapes and sizes. One survey says around 11.1% of Tubi’s viewers are ages 18-44, while another 13.6% are ages 45-54. So does that mean the rest -- or the majority -- are 55-plus?

One wonders how valuable an older streaming crowd will be to streaming-focused brands in the future.

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