How to Succeed with Free Ad-Supported TVFree Ad-Supported TV is an opportunity that video creators, producers, and youtubers can take advantage of and benefit. For the first time independent creators have a way to get their video content in front of the eyes of the masses and generate revenue. Here we will show you how you can succeed with your FAST (free ad-supported tv) Channel.
An alternative to traditional TV has turned a lot of heads over the past few years. Major players like NBCUniversal, Amazon, and Fox, committing big time to grow their distribution via FAST, or free ad-supported tv channels like Pluto TV, XUMO, Roku, Tivo, Peacock, IMDb TV, Plex, and Tubi, respectively. It’s easy to understand why.
Free Ad-Supported TV Growth & Statistics
TV viewers in droves are cutting the cord from their cable TV subscriptions. Or, in the case of many minors through millennials, never even signing up to being corded in the first place. Watching streaming FAST channels is a common-sense alternative—often free or available with a premium on-demand component for a small subscription fee—for consumers.
Tied closely to the increasing number of viewers who are embracing FAST channels is the revenue growth they are enjoying. According to Julia Stoll, a research expert specializing in TV and media with Statista, the revenue from FAST channels in the United States will grow from $2.1 billion in 2021 to $4.1 billion this year.
What does that mean for one, albeit major, FAST channel? If you’re ViacomCBS, $1 billion. Writing in April 2021, MediaPost Digital News Daily editor Karlene Lukovitz reported the FAST channel’s ad revenue for the year was expected to be $786.7 million, a 78% increase over the previous year, and by the end of this year would surpass $1 billion.
Wouldn’t, therefore, it be better for a video entrepreneur looking for FAST channel success to get past the clunkers and find the gem as quickly and inexpensively as possible? Similarly, to make the odds of success even better, isn’t it best to minimize where possible the investment necessary to put that channel on air to make getting to a return easier?
What Is Free Ad-Supported TV and Why It’s Not Just For Big Guys
To understand why this growing pool of ad revenue isn’t just for the Big Guys, it’s best to back up a step and understand what a FAST channel really is.
FAST stands for Free Advertising Supported Television. While a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service like Netflix makes their money off of memberships, FAST channels make their money from advertising. The more views a channel has, more specifically the more eyeballs individual programs on a channel achieve, the more revenue generated. It is that simple.
Free ad-supported tv channels offer the opportunity to create regularly scheduled lineups of programming that are ad-revenue-generators. For major broadcast networks like NBCUniversal and Fox, these aspects of the business are already baked into the cake.
They have the sales and back-office personnel and procedures in place to sell, schedule, and play out countless commercials. They also have published programming schedules often set months or more in advance to support linear content distribution over the air and via MVPDs (Multichannel Video Program Distributors) like cable TV, satellite, and IPTV services.
While it might seem like small video entrepreneurs have an insurmountable mountain to climb to compete with the Big Guys, the help they need to offer FAST channels of their own and make a big profit has arrived—both from the point of view of scheduled playout and ad sales.
Ensuring ad sales
Getting advertisers usually demands personnel, time, and financial resources. So simplifying this process is key for accelerating ROI. TVU Networks has vast advertising partners ready to relieve streaming channel entrepreneurs from the burden of managing a professional media sales organization. TVU takes care of the sale of any open ad inventory (as much or as little is available) giving them a practical, affordable way to generate ad sales revenue.
Together, these ad partners are offering the Big Guys, Small Guys, and media organizations of every size in between, a way to sell commercial time without committing time and financial resources to hiring and managing salespeople or collecting accounts payable.
Not only do our partnered media sales experts bring certain sales to FAST channels, but also their connections with agencies, brands, and services that have a track record of leveraging TV advertising to promote their products and services using linear television and FAST channels to reach audiences.
Once a FAST channel entrepreneur signs up, all that’s needed from a sales point of view are delivering an audience and making time available for commercial spots.
How much money can your FAST Channel streaming make?
A monetization hypothetical demonstrates the potential. In his article “How Much Do YouTube Ads Cost” on Influencer MarketingHub, author Werner Geyser states the average cost of an ad reaching 100,000 YouTube viewers is $2,000. In other words, 20 dollars per thousand.
If a free-ad supported tv channel can reach an average of 1,000 viewers an hour, the revenue picture looks like this: 1,000 viewers x 24 hours = 24,000 viewers per day or 168,000 viewers per week. 168,000 viewers x 20 dollars/1000 = $3,360 per week or $174,720 per year. Doubling viewership doubles revenue. Doubt it is possible? Look at the number of viewers here right now.
Many video entrepreneurs already have tens or even hundreds of thousands of people subscribing to their YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Twitch, and Instagram channels and have built up a library of content that can be scheduled as a linear channel augmented by regularly scheduled live programming to keep things fresh.
With ad sales in the bag, all that’s left is to create a program schedule and play it out across multiple distribution platforms on a continuous 24/7 basis.
Save time and money with efficient playout solutions
This new advertising sales service is the perfect companion to TVU Networks’ recently introduced TVU Channel, the company’s cloud-based scheduling and playout solution. Designed with the help of some of the biggest broadcasters in the world, Channel is as simple to use as a web Calendar.
With TVU Channel, creating a channel is a 30-second task. Its Scheduler makes it intuitive to build a playout schedule. Users simply drag and drop media to the desired date and time they wish the content to play. Schedule-building templates are also available, making the task even easier.
Besides program playout, TVU Channel makes it possible to overlay graphics and add text crawls. It also makes it simple for users to insert live programming, whether it’s entertainment, news, sports, or anything else.
Taking the channel live and playing it out on multiple platforms is easy. TVU Channel supports output to broadcast, OTT, websites, apps, and multistreaming to multiple social media sites—all at the same time if desired—making it easy for video entrepreneurs to aggregate bigger audiences to drive higher ad revenue.
To get started and begin scheduling a new channel, TVU Channel users simply connect via the internet to the TVU website Channel portal page.
TVU Channel is dramatically less expensive than the tens, or even, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by broadcasters, cable channels and other traditional media organizations on playout server hardware and scheduling solutions. TVU Networks’ cloud-based solution is offered on a subscription basis that costs about $2,000 per month for a single channel.
Seen in the light of the ad revenue TVU Networks’ new ad sales partner can generate, this subscription fee is an operational expense that’s 40% less than the ad revenue a channel with an hourly average of 1,000 viewers can generate in a week.
More To Come For Free Ad-Supported Television Channels
TVU Channel is more than a cloud playout alone and has much more to offer. You can find more resources towards free advertising television channels below.
- Take a deeper dive into FAST Channels
- Understand the FAST streaming industry
- Get a more detailed look at cloud-based playouts
- Learn the difference between playout software and cloud playouts
- Learn how to program and schedule a channel
- Improve make FAST Channels ROI and efficiency
- Enhance channel security for disaster recovery and business continuity
For now, however, this introduction to FAST channels should be sufficient to put your mental wheels into motion and help you recognize how the combination of TVU Channel and the company’s new ad sales service can assist a video entrepreneur in getting off to a fast, successful start when creating a new FAST channel in TVU Channel.
Of course, well-established traditional media companies looking to begin streaming their on-air linear channels can also benefit from the ease of use and reliability TVU Channel offers. They also can turn to TVU Channel for a disaster recovery strategy running in parallel to their existing traffic and playout workflows.
But those are entirely different stories—ones we’ll get to down the road.