FAST Channels are a Shit show – Shawn Johnson

I was looking through Linkedin over the past few days and I spotted this so I noted it to see what we can get as comments on this.

FAST is already a Flawed Future Model…

As we’ve seen the meteoric rise of FAST channels over the past 3 years it still has lots of growing. In 2020 there were around 550 channels AND TODAY we’re quickly approaching 1500 channels! 😳 💣

A word of caution…history inevitably repeats itself when the focus is on profits over people. The problem is that we’re bombarding people with 3-5X the channel choices, creating even more complex cost & content structures – while providing no means to fix the discovery, personalization & quality experiences.

In a nutshell – the old models are being recreated in the new world –  making the same mistakes that will result in “protective” rather than “progressive” solutions.

To put it into perspective – not so long ago people were frustrated with…

😵 250+ channels & nothing to watch

⚫ Managing bundles, add-ons & blackouts

😡 Frustration & fatigue; flipping through endless channels

📈 Quantity over quality & controlling cost

🔮 Finding something unique, bold & different

FAST has become another pathway to offset declines in traditional cable by creating broad-streamers. It’s a means for smaller, more curated channels to get access to broad audiences, while limiting the rising costs of cable bundles.

However, the reality is clear…

1) 📺 Same old model & approach (just using different tech)

2) 💩 Complete s*show if you’re trying to find something to watch

3) 📛 The Products & CX are bad & rehash rote UXDesign

4) ⬆ Streaming bundle costs are on par with cable bundles (and rising)

5) 😕 35-55 yr olds are increasing adoption, but not so much for 13-34

YouTube is the winner by a landslide with 15-35-year-olds & 2B+ MAUs. Add other social/emerging platforms into that mix & it’s not hard to see where the trends are moving next.

Look back even further to how technology changed the way we discover, listen to and purchase music, and you have a glimpse into why FAST channels will only be a bridge vs. a new solution. Couple that with new CTVs, Roku, Amazon & GoogleTV – and the challenges are exponential if you’re not Netflix

Not trying to grate on the raw nerves of all my friends & colleagues in the media space…but the focus of today will quickly become the failure of tomorrow when you approach new challenges with the same old tired solutions.

Bombarding customers to monetize content won’t solve the tectonic shifts that already occurred across the industry.

Focus on people’s problems & needs, not just your problems – only then can you design & develop something that is truly innovative that will use FAST to build the future. 🏎 🔥 🚀


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