SME#29: The Single-IP FAST Channel Boom
Streaming Made Easy #29
Welcome back to Streaming Made Easy. I’m Marion & this is your weekly European take on the Global Streaming Video Business.
Every Friday, you get 1 analysis, 1 streamer snapshot & 1 content recommendation (→ previous editions).
Next week, I’ll be in Brussels for a new edition of my “FAST Made Easy” Masterclass. It’s behind closed doors but book time to explore the materials and past clients’ testimonials.
Enjoy today’s read.
Today at a glance:
Analysis: The Single-IP FAST Channel Boom
Streamer snapshot: Pluto TV, The Single-IP Masters
Content recommendation: My favourite Single-IP FAST Channels
FAST borrows the codes of Broadcast TV to bring viewers the best of two worlds (streaming and TV).
The most common comment I get about FAST Channels is: “They’re just playlists”.
Programmers behind FAST Channels take offence as a lot more thought goes into creating and programming a FAST Channel.
The FAST Channel playbook brings viewers an array of channel types:
Thematic FAST Channels (True crime, Sports, TV series, Movies, History, Music, Kids)
Brand led Channels (Viaplay, Euronews, DAZN),
Single IP Channels (Midsomer murders, Blue’s clues),
Pop up Channels (Fireplace, Xmas, Tomorrowland).
This week, I want to shed light on a category which has seen incredible growth in channel count (i.e. the number of channels available in market): Single IP FAST Channels.
What are Single-IP FAST Channels?
IP means Intellectual Property and it means a creative work protected by Intellectual Property Law.
We use the term in our industry to speak about a 360 content strategy revolving around one piece of content (the IP). Think Game of Thrones (it’s a book, a TV series, merchandising etc.).
What does it have to do with FAST?
The beauty of FAST is the liberty you can take from the traditional playbook where channels are programmed with an array of content (news, movies, TV series) coming from hundreds of content providers.
The Single IP FAST Channel is a channel dedicated to one IP. Examples are legion: Doctor Who, Baywatch, Deal or no deal, Hell’s Kitchen.
The brand of the channel is the IP itself. It’s highly recognisable and acts as a scroll-stopper for viewers which presents a major advantage when the FAST platform and its EPG showcase hundreds of channels.
How are these channels programmed?
I spoke to several channels and they all want to bust the myth around these channels being programmed one episode after the other.
In some cases, they have to (especially with drama series where you don’t want to mess with the story arc) but when the show allows for it, they create curated blocks with an underlying thematic i.e. Famous Faces of Midsomer Murders from the All3Media portfolio”.
I could easily see all the Thanksgiving or Xmas episodes of a given show coming together or a replica (in FAST) of the Sex and the city hub on Max where you had the favourite Jessica Parker moments or the most romantic moments.
How many Single-IP FAST Channels are out there?
As always, the US has a major head start with over 200+ channels.
Now, the weight of these channels isn’t much if you look at the total channel count (i.e. 1700+ as of May 2023).
In the UK however, the Single-IP FAST Channels represent 20% of the total channel count (Q1 2023 from my European FAST Tracker).
We’re also witnessing a growing number of exclusive Single-IP FAST Channels with Samsung UK carrying “American Idol” and “America’s got talent”. It’s easy to market so why not go big and exclusive.
What type of Single IP FAST Channels are available?
Many genres have their set of channels: kids, comedy, game shows, procedurals. It won’t suit all genres though e.g. drama will be tricky.
How do they perform?
If only we had access to industry data.
Now Samsung TV+ France announced yesterday a deal with French group, Satisfaction, and guess what channels they will launch?
A slate of Single-IP FAST Channels: “Les Z’amours”, “Who wants to be a millionaire”, “Le meilleur d’Arthur” (which could be compared to a Conan O’Brien FAST Channel).
This tells me the category still has room to grow. All platforms need attention grabbing Channels to combat the discoverability headache.
📺 Streamer snapshot:
Talking about Single IP FAST Channels, I had to choose Pluto TV as this week’s streamer snapshot.
Do I need to present Pluto TV? I guess not given how their brand awareness grew by 21 pts in a year’s time in a market like France (source: NPA/Harris Interactive).
Thanks to the depth of the Paramount library, it’s no surprise to see Pluto TV leaning heavily into this category:
Pimp my ride
But they also carry 3rd-party IPs again looking for prominent brands local audiences know and love:
Ghost Hunters from NBC
Doctor Who from BBC
Little Baby Bum from Moonbug
You know where to go but just in case → Pluto TV
🎬 Content recommendation:
My favourite single IP FAST channel is the Mad Men FAST Channel on Pluto TV France and myTF1.
Who doesn’t need a regular dose of Don Drapper?
Now if I were to start brand new FAST Channels, these would be my go to:
→ The Big Bang Theory
→ How I met your mother
→ A Hugh Grant flix channel (I know Hannah would watch this one with me ☺️)
That’s it folks. Enjoy your weekend and see you next Friday for another edition of Streaming Made Easy!
By night, I write Streaming Made Easy and post each working day on Linkedin.
By day, I run The Local Act, a streaming video consultancy.
Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:
NEW - The European FAST Tracker: 1700+ FAST channels in the US alone but what is happening in Europe? What are the leading genres? Who are the active content providers and platforms? With this Tracker, I lead masterclasses & workshops, draft strategy notes, bespoke reports, white papers or blog series for any company active (or looking to be) in the FAST space. Book a call to discuss
Founders’ Hours: One-hour consultations for founders in need of quick answers to their most pressing business questions. I will block my calendar every Friday for these consultations. Book your slot here
If you’re looking to start a FAST Channel business, I designed a Program called "How to get into FAST" where I fast-track the launch of your FAST Channel Business in 90 days. Book a call to discuss (booked until September 2023)
Last but not least, work with me 1:1 to grow your streaming video business in Europe (market intelligence, go to market strategy, distribution expansion etc.).