Gracenote, a unit of Nielsen known for providing entertainment metadata and content IDs, unveiled a new offering on Tuesday designed to help content companies more easily manage their free ad-supported streaming (FAST) channels and programming to be distributed via major streaming platforms. The FAST program, which promises to “streamline” FAST initiatives, was announced at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam.
“By leveraging advanced data enrichment services, the Gracenote FAST program will help Gracenote customers accelerate the time to market of their FAST offerings as they become increasingly important to their overall content monetization strategies,” the company said. “FAST is no longer a proving ground for content owners and publishers, but has quickly become a proven revenue driver through advertising sales. Now that FAST has come of age, content owners are recognizing the need for high-quality normalized metadata and associated content IDs to facilitate distribution on streaming platforms, increase program and channel visibility, and grow viewership.”
The Gracenote FAST program promises “expert enrichment of editorial and contextual data as well as access to rich programming images that drive stronger channel engagement,” the company said. “Assigning Gracenote IDs to participant content optimizes placement on major streaming platforms via Gracenote Listing Distribution Services and enables easier content discoverability. Additionally, program participants will receive Gracenote Certified designation, giving them an advantage when offering their FAST offerings on platforms that prefer, and in some cases require, standardized Gracenote metadata and IDs.”
The service comes at a time of growth in FAST offerings and associated revenue. For example, NBCUniversal and Roku announced last month that they would be teaming up to launch multiple FAST channels dedicated to the long-running shows in NBCU’s library, including Murder, she wrotethe original Saved by the bellAnd Little house on the prairie.
Gracenote cited a Statista forecast that global revenue generated through FAST channels will reach $18 billion by 2028, with the US, UK, South Korea, Germany, India, Canada and Brazil as the leading markets.
“The rapid rise of FAST has been one of the most notable recent developments in the global video ecosystem,” said Vikram Kulkarni, vice president of strategic initiatives for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Gracenote. “Because of our position at the heart of this ecosystem, we are in a unique position to help content publishers from small to large benefit from the evolution of FAST, and we look forward to helping them achieve greater visibility, usage and monetization of FAST content.”