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By Juan Martin

Get ready, OTT!  Better, smarter FAST channels are on their way!

Free, Ad-Supported Television (FAST), which has been shaking up the streaming landscape in the past several years, is approaching its pivotal moment. At IBC 2022 next month, we’ll show how our deep relationship with Google Cloud is helping us to enable a new generation of virtual channels that are dynamically personalized to optimize engagement and monetization.

In a joint demonstration with Unified Streaming (IBC Stand 5.B78), we will be showing how our cloud-native OTT platform integrates their Unified Remix product to enable:

  • Creating virtual channels from video assets stored within the Quickplay CMS
  • Using manifest manipulation techniques eliminates the need to re-encode assets for fast and cost-effective delivery.
  • Opening the possibilities for rights holders to experiment with FAST channels alongside SVOD, AVOD, and other services using a single video pipeline.
  • Insertion of SCTE 35 markers for server-side ad insertion to support targeted advertising
  • Running end-to-end on Google Cloud, allowing service providers to enter the fast-growing FAST market rapidly, leveraging a global scale and secure infrastructure

With subscribers often paralyzed by the overwhelming array of OTT content choices, virtual channels have proliferated by offering viewers a simple, selection-free stream of content. According to Variety, more than 1,400 FAST channels exist in the United States alone. A Comcast Advertising report said that 60% of households are either exclusively using FAST channels or are using them in addition to other services, creating a U.S. market that nScreen Media estimates will grow to 216 million monthly active users and $4.1 billion in revenue in 2023.

Despite that rapid viewer and revenue growth, FAST channels today have overwhelmingly been inflexible linear streams that have limited experimentation. Imagine the potential of FAST channels that can be tailored on the fly with content and advertising that meets each viewer’s needs or a generic VOD playlist that can be spiced up with breaking news or local content.

As you might expect from the 2021 Google Cloud Industry Solution Media & Entertainment Partner of the Year, our personalization platform leverages Google tools such as BigQuery, Looker and Google Ad Manager to create theme-based channels, personalized content, and enable targeted advertising to maximize monetization opportunities. Our platform identifies viewer preferences and optimal insertion points for Ad markers while content and ads are stitched into a single playlist using Unified Streaming’s Unified Remix product.

Our novel approach to FAST takes personalization to a whole new level. We’re taking virtual channels to the next level by enabling the creation of dynamic, personalized FAST channels that can drive engagement and monetization. Please contact us at to set up a meeting before, at, or after IBC 2022 to learn more.

Juan Martin