Power Play: Media Companies Riding the FAST Channel Wave with Agile Rights Management


Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels have reshaped content distribution, underscoring the need for dynamic rights management platforms. With 18% of households now using FAST channels (double the number from 2022) and revenue projected to reach $18B globally by 2028, media companies must have a rights management system that can adapt to new revenue models and evolving contract types.

7 Opportunities to Leverage FAST Channels 

To ride the FAST wave effectively, you must ensure your rights management platform can handle the nuances of negotiating deals and tracking rights. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Monetize Legacy Content 

Dust off the archives. Older content not viable for premium platforms can thrive on FAST channels. You can generate revenue by licensing libraries across various niche categories, repurposing content, curating “best of” compilations, and offering versions that include behind-the-scenes specials, actor or director commentaries, outtakes and extended scenes, and other unique formats to give content new life. To capitalize on these opportunities, you need a rights management platform capable of tracking all the complex variables. 

2. Target Niche and New Audiences

The breadth of FAST Channels allows you to focus on specific demographics or interests. You can align with channels that meet your content, whether it’s families, women, urban audiences, or just about any other niche. 

You can also reintroduce classic content to reinvigorate interest in titles. Those familiar with the content may be interested in seeing it again or watching a series from the beginning. Others may have missed favored content or may be too young to have seen it in its original form. FAST channels provide an opportunity to reinvent catalogs for a new generation.

Aligning with niche-specific FAST channels requires software to manage deals across various demographics.  

3. Maintain Flexible Distribution

FAST deals generally provide flexibility so you can find the best arrangement for your distribution strategy. For instance:

• Exclusive deals - offering content to a specific FAST channel to generate buzz and drive viewership 
• Windowing - offering premiere content on a premium platform first, then bringing it to FAST channels after a specified time window 
Bundling - grouping similar content to offer as a package to channels looking for themed programming 

Innovative rights management solutions are critical for navigating these complex and time-sensitive distribution deals. 

4. Negotiate Ad Revenue Sharing

The main revenue driver for FAST channels is advertising income. Rights holders have the opportunity to negotiate ad revenue sharing agreements with FAST channels and can potentially secure guaranteed minimums, offering more stable and predictable financial returns. These agreements are highly nuanced and, to manage well, require a sophisticated rights management system for negotiating contracts for both popular and lesser-known content.

5. Enhance Cross-Promotions With Strategic Rights Management

You can also use FAST channel content for cross-promotion. For example, you can use older content or related programming to promote an upcoming movie or series. Additional revenue opportunities exist to work directly with advertisers for product placement. This potential revenue stream is more effective with a rights platform that can track and optimize such opportunities, especially during direct collaborations with advertisers.

6. Access Invaluable Analytics

Some FAST platforms allow interactivity, such as viewer polls or surveys, and viewing data. You can gain valuable audience feedback to help frame future content decisions. Real-time analytics help you understand audience preferences to adjust content and licensing strategies.

Interactive features on some FAST platforms require rights management systems capable of processing viewer feedback and real-time analytics.  

7. Improve Your Global Rights Management

International markets also offer a significant opportunity for repurposing content. Effective rights management software streamlines this process, efficiently managing multiple language versions through dubbing or subtitles. The right content on the right FAST channels can lead to substantial revenue with minimal costs with foreign distribution.

Leveraging FAST Channels

As FAST channels and their voracious appetite for content continue to grow, having a robust rights management platform is essential. Platforms like FilmTrack offer the flexibility and adaptability required in this dynamic landscape, ensuring media companies can capitalize on new distribution models and contract formats, especially as the industry evolves post-entertainment strikes. Proper rights management is the cornerstone of success in our changing digital content world. Learn more from our team - ask for a demo!

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FilmTrack is an RBC Company and subsidiary of City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.

This article is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and  friends of FilmTrack. FilmTrack does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy  or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of FilmTrack. Please cite source when quoting.

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