FAST shift requires ‘significant’ investment, says Banijay Rights exec

Content rights holders need to think carefully about their strategy and calculate the return on what could turn out to be a significant financial investment before taking the plunge into FAST, according to Shaun Keeble, VP of digital at Banijay Rights.

Speaking on a panel session at the Connected TV World Summit in London today, Keeble said that AVOD and FAST offer opportunities for incremental revenues but cautioned that rights holders face challenges in getting into the space.

FAST means building and scheduling TV channels, he said, adding that FAST channels needed about 100 hours of content to be viable and required careful curation and scheduling.

He said FAST providers also needed a “facilitator’ in the form of one or more technology partners to connect FAST channels to audiences and platforms. This came with a cost that had to be considered when calculating the return on investment.

Keeble said its ability to launch flagship channels based on established brands such as Deal Or No Deal meant it was possible for Banijay Rights to prosper in the FAST world, but that it had to make a considerable investment in operational staff and facilities to do so.

He said Banijay Rights had metadata in-house but there was still a challenge in matching the requirements of different platforms.

Keeble said the FAST space was very dependent on the connected TV advertising market, and that discoverability was “super key”.

However, he said that the most important thing to do in FAST is to create “channels that do what they say on the tin” with titles that are already well-known in the market with their own audience.

“There is no benefit in being an early adopter if you don’t have a content strategy,” he said.

Keeble said that different tiers of FAST would emerge as the market matured. He said that in “tier one” markets such as the US, with connected TV players launching their own services, there may be more of an opportunity to license content to such channels rather than do revenue-share deals.

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