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5 Tips for Monetizing with FAST

The rise of FAST channels has changed the game in the streaming industry, providing new opportunities for filmmakers and content owners to reach wider audiences and generate revenue. As part of our ongoing webinar series, Charles Angelis and Bryan Louzil from Mometu recently joined MOLTEN’s Arjun Mendhi for a deep dive into the growth of Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST).

Mometu is a free streaming platform available in North America that caters to underserved filmmakers. Rather than depending on algorithms, Mometu curates their content by hand, seeking to widen viewers' horizons by exposing them to hidden gems like independent films or international content they may not be exposed to on other platforms. The name "Mometu" stands for "more for me and you," which represents the idea of providing more opportunities for filmmakers and viewers alike. Overall, Mometu's goal is to share unique content and provide viewers with a different and enriching experience.

You’re more than welcome to watch our webinar with Mometu in full here, or read on for five tips for monetizing with FAST.   

1. Cast a Wide Net

When it comes to fast channel profitability, volume is key, and casting a wide net is essential for success. If you're relying on just one platform to monetize your content, you may find that your viewership, and therefore revenue, is limited. To maximize your earnings, it's important to expand your reach across multiple platforms and even different territories.

While the market for FAST channels is a bit more established in the US, FAST is growing across the world. For example, Bryan shared that FAST is moving rapidly into Europe, with a lot of excitement in the UK in particular. However, excitement alone isn’t enough, the biggest factor that will take a role in the success of FAST is the presence of an ad market. Bryan says “you could start past channels anywhere, but unless there's advertising partners that are there with you're not gonna make any money.” 

Putting your content on one FAST channel, on one platform is just one piece of the pie. The winning recipe will be one that reaches your content across different parts of the streaming world, and the physical world. Stretch out beyond North America into new territorial opportunities like Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond, with an eye on the ad market.

2. Treat your channel like a business

Some content owners are reluctant to get into the space due to the upfront costs associated with FAST. It’s true - it’s not quite as simple as throwing content out there and waiting to see how much revenue comes in. Bryan shares that the best way to think about FAST is like a business. Like in any business, it’s an investment. With FAST, there will be costs associated with getting your content out there and getting your channel onto a platform, depending on the technology partners you’re working with. There will also be costs associated with marketing - but more on that in tip #3.

On the flip side, there’s revenue. One important factor to consider is the regions of the world you're targeting, as this can determine the CPM (cost per mille) you can expect and directly influence your revenue potential. Somewhere like North America, your CPM can be as much as $7 to $15. In some countries, it can be as low as $1. It depends greatly on the viewing habits of the territory you’re looking at, and how saturated their viewing market is. Similarly, the platforms you choose to be on can also have a direct correlation with the revenue you can generate.

Ultimately, treating your FAST channel like a business means being mindful of both revenue and cost factors and making smart decisions to ensure profitability. It's important to carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of each decision and to invest in your channel wisely.

3. Don’t Skip Marketing

When it comes to making your fast channel successful, marketing is crucial. Charles and Bryan emphasize that you can't just rely on the platform to do all the work for you. You have to take ownership of your channel like you would a business. 

Bryan points out that some channels do a really good job with marketing, and he mentions one channel with 8.8 million followers on Instagram. Are you utilizing social media to your advantage to let people know who you are and where they can find you? Creating great content is not enough; you have to market it too.

Mometu works with their fast channel providers to do cross-promotions and share them with their network of people, whether through social media platforms or newsletters. But ultimately, it's your responsibility to do the marketing as well.

Marketing your content takes time and effort, and it's not just about how much money you're willing to spend. You have to consider the amount of time you're dedicating to marketing your content as well. Have you done a press release? Have you worked with a company that can help promote your channel? There are many factors to consider, but the bottom line is that marketing is essential to the success of your fast channel, and should not be slept on.

4. Experiment with it

One of the greatest benefits of fast channels is that they provide an opportunity for experimentation. When compared to cable, FAST is infinitely easier and cheaper to experiment with and learn from. You can get feedback and make adjustments in much shorter cycles than you would be able to over cable TV. Fast channels offer a more democratized approach to content creation and distribution, allowing for a lower investment and faster turnaround time. This means that creators can experiment with different types of content, ad structures, and even different channels altogether to see what works best for their audience.

By collecting and analyzing data on viewership and engagement, FAST channel operators can quickly make adjustments to their content and strategy to maximize their revenue potential. This could include changing the structure of ad breaks, implementing day parting to showcase certain content at specific times, or even replacing a channel altogether. 

The beauty of FAST is that it provides an opportunity to iterate quickly while experimenting with new ideas and approaches to content creation and distribution. Embrace it! By experimenting and adapting to shifting viewer preferences, you can maximize your revenue potential.

5. Use good tools.

FAST channels require technical tools and partners. Good tools can streamline your workflow, making it easier to create and publish high-quality channels. 

For example, when Mometu creates popup channels for seasonal content, like a halloween channel for scary movies in October, or a holiday channel in November and December, there is a lot of work involved. They’ll need to filter and select content, and gather all of the relevant metadata, assets and licenses to be packaged and formatted into an MRSS feed for their FAST aggregator, who will then turn it into a FAST channel for Mometu’s platform by building an HLS feed. Because their content, rights, and delivery operations are streamlined on MOLTEN, they can filter their content and generate an MRSS feed in a few clicks, without having to chase down any data or files. 

The ability to generate MRSS feeds with ease, means their channels can generate revenue faster, and without the upfront cost of hours and hours of administrative tasks. 

Creating a successful FAST channel requires a combination of strategic thinking, business acumen, and technical know-how. When done right, FAST is a great avenue for maximizing your revenue potential and building a loyal audience. With the growing popularity of FAST channels, it's important to stay ahead of the curve and embrace new opportunities for content creation and distribution. 

If you’re interested in learning more about MOLTEN, click here for an introduction.