London UK, April 20, 2022 -Free Ad-supported Streaming Television (FAST) or vLinear has enjoyed explosive growth in the decade since the first FAST services appeared. The take-up has generally been driven by home broadband enabling streaming, massive choice and the service being free.
Cord-cutters’ needs have generally been satisfied in pivoting from traditional subscription TV. TV itself has not changed, but the FAST ecosystem infrastructure and revenue distribution model has disrupted traditional broadcast TV. The disruption has been at the expense of quality of broadcast and content companies’ businesses being unsustainable without constant rounds of investment.
Lauren Zalaznick, the former NBC Universal chairman who ran several of the company’s cable channels and its digital networks, says, “it would be foolish for the content companies to abandon their once-vaunted cable channels solely in pursuit of the elusive streaming dragon.” The outcome of ‘pursuing the dragon’ has left many content companies looking for a way to maintain a FAST presence but with the broadcast quality and revenues of cable TV.
As owners of the Connected Television (CTV) platform Kapang, we have proven the convergence of the two worlds; FAST and cable to satisfy cord-cutters with a free, cable-grade broadcast and content owners with cable channel level revenues. We have proven the growth in viewer hours and channel revenues due to this convergence.
“Our aim is to invest our learning, experience and approach in content companies so that they receive a fair and sustainable share of the gross revenues from the convergence of FAST and cable TV” said Jamie Branson, CEO View TV Group.
Jamie added, “we are keen to empower content companies by sharing our approach and thereby giving viewers a better deal.”
 This paper defines a FAST service as a provider of free TV channels that sometimes ‘look like’ traditional / cable television but often without the same viewer experience. These are called virtual linear (vLinear) because they are not often “managed or scheduled” like traditional TV. They are simply created using a playlist of VOD assets and lack the ‘depth and maturity’ of metadata of traditional / cable TV.