How to Build a FAST Channel Audience: 4 Steps

By The Zype Team on November 21, 2022

Content today is fragmented across over-the-top (OTT) platforms, and subscription video on demand (SVOD) services can be expensive. 

It's no surprise users have turned to free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) for their content needs. In the United States, over 50 percent of TV viewers use at least one FAST platform, such as the Roku Channel or Pluto TV. 

A graph showing the share of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platform viewers in the United States from 2020 to 2022

Image courtesy of Statista

This completes a 360-degree turn for users who moved away from linear streaming channels. Even big brands, like Viacom and Comcast, are investing in FAST as they aim to diversify their revenue streams. 

A FAST channel is fairly easy to launch, and the platforms that host them are convenient for users to download on their smart and connected TVs.

How to Get Your FAST Channel on Multiple Platforms

Since users consume content on different platforms, visibility is essential to growing your channel. Presence on one OTT platform may not be enough; you might have to get your FAST channel onto multiple ones.

A reputable playout software provider, like Zype, can help you upload your video library, schedule programming, connect an ad server, and get your content to the right FAST channel distribution outlets.

How to Build Your FAST Channel Audience

There are multiple ways you can build a FAST channel audience. 

1. Localize Your Content

To build your FAST audience, your content must appeal to viewers. The advent of OTT has made it easy to watch foreign content with subtitles—but that's not enough if you want to strike a chord with local audiences. 

It's important to dub your content into local languages to reach as many viewers as possible. If you can, produce content related to regional news, sporting events, or social issues so it’s more relevant to that specific audience.

2. Adjust Your Ad Experience

Viewers across regions are used to watching ads in different ways. For example, a viewer in the U.S. may not mind watching ads as much as a viewer in Europe. Do your research for every market and tweak ads’ structure and frequency based on user behavior. 

If using Zype’s playout software, you can take advantage of the partnership with TripleLift, which allows content owners to leverage native advertising placements and reduce ad break duration.

3. Drive Your Strategy with Data

Businesses across the globe have grown by leveraging user data. Make sure you track how users engage with your content and analyze the collected data to make informed decisions. 

If you know what's working well and what's being rejected by your audiences, you can tweak your content strategy accordingly and set yourself up for success.

4. Market Your Channel

Invest in marketing to drive awareness of your FAST channel; FAST is still picking up and not saturated yet. You're already ahead of the competition if you're considering marketing your channel. 

Invest in the following strategies to market your channel to the right users:

Secure Ad Inventory on the Host Platform

You can collaborate with the platform you host your FAST channel on and secure its ad inventory. This way, you can promote your channel from within the platform and gain a competitive advantage when viewers are deciding which FAST channel to view. 

Digital Advertising

You can market your FAST channel through social media and other digital platforms and provide links that direct users to your content.

Going All In with Your FAST Channel

FAST is growing, and you're in the game early. All you need is a good content strategy, a reliable strategic partner, and the right marketing tools. This is a lucrative space to be in and can help increase revenue—provided you take steps in the right direction. 

To learn more about FAST and why now is the time to capitalize on this emerging market, download our free white paper, Into the FAST Lane: 5 Essential Tactics for Starting a FAST Channel.

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