Inside FAST Music Trends – Variety
Note: The following is based on content from Variety Intelligence Platform’s Special Report Exploring Ad-Supported Free Streaming Television (FAST), available exclusively to subscribers.
Since most FAST discussions center around TV shows, movies, and news, it may come as a surprise to learn that there is a thriving music scene within the linear channels of funded free streaming TV. by advertising.
The most common genre among music is video, which rose from 33 to 47 from January to June, an increase of 42%. The second largest music genre is audio-only channels, with 26 available in June. Channels based on concerts and karaoke round out the genre.
The disappearance of music video channels on cable television suggested the format was over, but the success of Vevo online shows that consumers still want to engage with the format. Data from the “Demographic Divide” study by VIP+, in partnership with GetWizerCommentshows that the majority of under 60s report watching music videos, strongest among 15-29 and 30-44 year olds and dominated by YouTube.
There are a number of companies with extended channel offerings on FAST, several of which both distribute to FAST and supply music to businesses such as supermarkets, retail and airports. Canadian audio giant Stingray has the most available, at 19, followed by internet music video giant Vevo, which currently has 12. Music channel distributor Loop has 10 FAST channels, followed by iHeart (8), MTV (4) and the Dutch music platform Xite (4).
Why are more and more music channels being launched? In short, because being available on FAST services expands reach. If a consumer has opened a FAST platform and is browsing to find something to play, they will already not be listening to radio or online streams.
With one of the states of need motivating the use of FAST to provide background noise, music is an excellent choice to include in queues. Consumers are also presented with many recognizable music brands, which further entices them to watch.
Music may not be the main driver of FAST, but the fact that the number of channels continues to grow shows that viewers are responding. The next step will be the syndication of live streams for radio stations, which will take place within the next 12 months.
Recognizing that consumers have app fatigue and working with that by making music channels available in FAST services will increase audiences (and revenue) for channel operators. Expect to see music’s FAST presence continue to grow.
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