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Future of TV Briefing: The free, ad-supported streaming TV market has come of age

Digiday 21 Jul 2021 04:01
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July 21, 2021 by Tim Peterson

The Future of TV Briefing this week looks at how the free, ad-supported streaming TV market has entered a new era in its maturation. 

  • FAST forward
  • Netflix’s Q2 2021 earnings report
  • TV broadcasters’ staggered fall programming schedules
  • Media giants’ bundle debate, YouTubers’ voice, TikTok’s misinformation problem and more

FAST forward

The free, ad-supported streaming TV market has matured through the growing pains phase. There remain some pain points, like the pressure of programming costs, but the swelling of the FAST industry has helped to offset those issues and introduce some stability.

The key hits:

  • The FAST market is evolving past the era of TV reruns and repurposed social videos.
  • A rise in viewership and the expansion of platforms has helped to stabilize the FAST business.
  • FAST platforms and channel operators are investing in higher quality programming, including original and exclusive shows.
  • Advertisers see the FAST market as a reliable piece of the streaming ad mix.

Surge turns to slump
Last year’s streaming surge in the immediate wake of the pandemic putting people in quarantine was always going to ebb at some point. But for Netflix’s business in the U.S. and Canada, it has receded to the point of shrinking.

The staggered premiere strategy seems designed to help the shows stand out. Overloading audiences in a single week risk people missing the first episode of a show and becoming less inclined to catch up to watch week to week.

Read more about BuzzFeed here.

Read more about ‘Stay Tuned’ here.

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