FAST Channels – Boost ROI with TVU Channel Playout Solution

It is imperative that YouTube Creators and Video Producers know what FAST Channels are. Learn about FAST Channels and how you can better your return on investment, or add another revenue stream by repurposing video content towards free ad-supported tv streaming channels using the best cloud playout and scheduling solution, TVU Channel.
FAST Channels - boost ROI with TVU Channel playout solution


Want to know the easiest way to increase return on investment (ROI) on a FAST channel (Free Ad-Supported Television Channel)? Simple: succeed fast and fail even faster. Sounds a bit counterintuitive. Fail fast? Isn’t the goal to succeed? Of course, but finding the right mix of FAST channel content, audience, and building a relationship with viewers who come back again and again, isn’t a sure thing.


FAST Channels. The Bigger Picture.

One in four entrepreneurs fail before succeeding. Only one in three wildcat oil wells make money. The odds of success were even worse for the hundreds of thousands of 49ers who risked life and limb to get to California and strike gold in “them thar hills.” The vast majority ultimately failed.

FAST channels for video entrepreneurs - the big picture

Wouldn’t, therefore, it be better for a video entrepreneur looking for FAST channel success to get past the clunkers and find the gem as quickly and inexpensively as possible? Similarly, to make the odds of success even better, isn’t it best to minimize where possible the investment necessary to put that channel on air to make getting to a return easier?


What is a FAST Channel?

A FAST channel is a free linear TV channel that’s streamed to viewers on their smart TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s linear in the sense that there is a scheduled program lineup.

TVU channel cloud playout and schedule solution

A combination of pre-recorded and live video programs plays back to back just like a TV channel received off-air or from a cable TV operator. This makes it different from a streaming ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) channel, which as the name explicitly states is available on demand.

Like a traditional TV or cable channel, it’s also free to viewers, who rather than “tuning in” select a FAST channel stream from their digital device to start watching.


How FAST TV Channels Benefit Video Producers

Depending on the FAST channel, content acquisition could be the largest expense. Hammering out deals with studios, sports leagues and others can be a multimillion-dollar adventure.

However, many small video entrepreneurs –small when compared to giant media conglomerates—already have a substantial existing inventory of quality video content and/or the ability to regularly record live shows to feed a FAST channel program schedule.

FAST tv channels benefit for video producers

Understanding a bit more about the costs of creating fresh video content, repurposing existing content and the revenue potential programming a free ad-supported tv channel with that content can generate is fundamental to arriving at an ROI estimate.

Video entrepreneurs are in luck when it comes to creating new video content. The technology to shoot, mic, mix, edit and switch pre-recorded and live content has never been more affordable. 

A driven video entrepreneur can shoot remarkably great-looking videos with the 1080p or 4K camera built into a smartphone. Likewise, editing software with graphics support, color correction capability, and other professional features are powerful and affordable. 

FAST tv channels and cloud based solution for live content production - TVU Producer

Those same tools also make it fast and affordable to repurpose existing content into formats that better lend themselves to FAST channel distribution. If live content production is the goal, fully-featured cloud-based production systems, like TVU Networks’ TVU Producer, is available at a low price on a pay-as-you-go basis.


FAST Channels and Return On Investment

ROI is easy to understand, and Investopedia does a great job describing it. As the site says: “ROI is calculated by subtracting the initial value of the investment from the final value of the investment (which equals the net return), then dividing this new number (the net return) by the cost of the investment, then finally, multiplying it by 100.”

FAST channels are among the hottest media distribution developments over the past few years. 

Major media organizations like Paramount, NBCUniversal, and even Amazon have launched their own to take a bite of the FAST advertising revenue pie that is estimated to reach $4.1 billion next year. 

For those players, maximizing return on investment from linear TV channels is old news. But for the small, video entrepreneur—perhaps the owner of a YouTube channel, the owner of streaming rights for high school and small college sports or any one of the hundreds of thousands of people with specialized knowledge or interest like a chef or a mechanic—considering ROI in the context of a FAST streaming channel might be uncharted territory.

As it turns out, the same thought process can apply to nonprofits, such as a church or educational institution, considering launching their own FAST channels to reach more people and better serve their communities.


Revenue Potential of FAST TV Channels for YouTube Video Creators

Now, let’s look at the revenue potential a FAST channel offers a video entrepreneur with a library of existing content. A quick look at only five categories of YouTube channels is eye-opening when it comes to what’s possible if the existing content is repurposed as a FAST channel.

The following is based on real YouTube channels and their total subscribers. For the Fast channel revenue potential, an extremely conservative estimate is provided based upon only having 0.5 percent of the existing YouTube subscribers viewing a hypothetical FAST channel per hour a day, selling only one 30-second commercial per hour, and charging advertisers 2 cents per viewer

[(YouTube subscribers x .05) x .02 x (24 commercial slots per day x 30 days/month).]

Category ChannelYouTube SubscribersMonthly FAST Channel Revenue
AutoDailyDrivenExotics3.1 million$2.23 million
AutoDoug DeMuro4.3 million$3.1 million
AutoTavarish2 million$1.4 million
CookingRosanna Pansino13.2 million$9.5 million
CookingMark Wiens8.6 million$6.2 million
CookingMaangchi5.9 million$4.25 million
ComedyNigaHiga21 million$15 million
ComedyIISuperwomanII14.7 million$10.6 million
ComedyJesse10.6 million$7.6 million
CommentaryCurtis Conner3.74 million$2.7 million
CommentaryDrew Gooden3.6 million$2.6 million
CommentaryCourtreezy2.6 million$1.9 million
GamingVEGETTA77733 million$24 million
GamingMarkiplier32 million$23 million
GamingNinja24 million$17.4 million

Whether or not any or all of these YouTube channels has enough existing content and/or can generate enough new video to feed the rapacious appetite of a 24/7 FAST channel is unknown. However, it is conceivable video entrepreneurs could form business relationships with one another to do so and split the ad revenue in a fair way.

It’s also possible a video entrepreneur short on content but committed to creating his or her own FAST channel could “end the broadcast day” much like local TV channels did in the days of black-and-white TV when they concluded the day with the National Anthem and then a cut to the Indian-head test pattern.


TVU Networks Expands To Free Ad-Supported TV

Working together with our partners, TVU Networks brings an effective ad sales solution to video entrepreneurs looking to create a FAST tv channel but unable to execute for lack of the ability and finances to sell commercial time on their channel.

The basic arrangement a video entrepreneur makes is an ad revenue split, thereby giving these small businesses a way to tap into the financial success that awaits FAST channels that are a hit.

This business solution could not come at a better time for video entrepreneurs because, as noted, linear television is in the process of changing its ad sales model to emulate digital media and the needs of agencies and brands are now looking to make programmatic buys that more closely approximate the way they buy ads on websites and social media.

Create FAST tv channels using YouTube videos with TVU Channel

It also is well-timed, because this ad sales solution comes on the heels of TVU Networks’ introduction of TVU Channel—a linear television scheduling and playout solution that makes it fast and easy to launch a FAST channel.


How TVU Channel Improves ROI For Fast Channels

TVU Channel is a cloud-based solution to the back office issues involved with broadcast scheduling a 24/7 linear FAST channel (or one that is only live a portion of the day). Using TVU Channel’s Scheduler is as easy as populating a Google Calendar.

The introduction of TVU Channel opens up a new chapter for FAST channels—one in which video entrepreneurs with a vision can take control.

Schedule FAST Channels in TVU Channel simple calendar interface

Beyond the simplicity and speed with which it’s possible to launch a FAST channel by leveraging the scheduling and playout capabilities of the solution, TVU Channel offers video entrepreneurs an affordable way to determine the commercial viability of their channel, thereby reducing their financial risk.

No real-world video tools like expensive playout servers and schedulers are necessary. Those functions are virtualized in the cloud.

FAST channels cloud-native scheduling and playout solution

TVU Networks price of TVU Channel is quite affordable at $1,950 per month, and it allows video entrepreneurs to pay as they go, meaning there are no long-term contractual obligations. 

As a result, TVU Channel makes it possible for video entrepreneurs to succeed fast and fail even faster so they can get onto the channel idea that ultimately proves to be successful.

From the point of ROI, TVU Channel zeroes out the capital investment that otherwise would have been necessary to launch a FAST channel with traditional video hardware. The revenue component of a FAST channel, in the ROI equation, comes within reach of any FAST channel video entrepreneur who can attract an audience.


How To Launch a FAST Channel With TVU Channel

A video entrepreneur or employee simply creates folders for content, drags and drops specific pieces of video content to the day and time they are to playback. It’s also possible to create scheduling templates for recurring content to make the process even easier. 

Programs, commercial breaks, promos, and public service announcements can all be scheduled. SCTE markers can be inserted into the schedule to trigger ad playout when desired.

TVU Channel also makes it easy to insert scheduled live programming, such as a live newscast, or an ad hoc live cut-in for breaking news. Inserting text, graphics, and logos is simple and fast as well.

The playout schedule as well as the video content scheduled are stored in the cloud. Content plays out automatically as scheduled and can be distributed to multiple social media sites, websites, and even a content delivery network (CDN).

Being in the cloud means scheduling and content are accessible by a video entrepreneur from anywhere there’s an internet connection, a real perk for small business operators on the go. It also means there’s a high degree of cybersecurity for business continuity and disaster recovery, as well as physical protection in the server farms of public cloud providers.

TVU Networks also makes it affordable for video entrepreneurs to begin using TVU Channel with a free trial.


FAST TV Channels Now Accessible To All Creators

To date, video entrepreneurs have had a major disadvantage compared to traditional linear TV broadcasters when launching FAST channels. Unlike major, well-established broadcast networks, these entrepreneurs haven’t had access to an ad-sales business infrastructure and personnel to sell commercial spots. Nor have they been on the radar of ad agencies, brands, services, or anyone else who makes buying decisions about ads.

By way of contrast, major media organizations like NBCUniversal (Peacock), Paramount (Pluto), Fox (Tubi), and others have long had those business processes in place and for decades have been calling on ad agencies to fill breaks with commercials.

TVU channel perfect for Youtube creators

However, the way commercial time is bought and sold has been undergoing sweeping changes in recent years as broadcasters make certain more philosophical changes, such as transitioning from ratings to ad impressions and implementing tech changes to make their content presentation more like digital media, which enable addressable advertising and interactivity.

At the same time, these fundamental transitions are occurring, an attractive alternative to hiring and managing salespeople and dealing with all the other considerations of hiring an employee has emerged that makes it simple for video entrepreneurs to sell commercial time and get at the ad revenue that’s so far been out of reach for most small concerns.



Given the growing demand of free streamers who are turning in droves to FAST channels as an alternative to pay TV subscriptions, the time has never been better for video entrepreneurs to launch their own channels. Tools like TVU Channel are ensuring they minimize scheduling and playout costs while maximizing their return on investment.


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