Advertisers Previous Editions PRODU Magazines

Kevin Cross

Condista: FAST has given advertisers a direct path to the users

Condista, representing sales of affiliates, marketing, and advertising sales for some 27 Hispanic channels in the US, entered the FAST business in the second quarter of 2021. Kevin Cross, Head of Affiliates Distribution at Condista, said they began by presenting the opportunity to several clients.

“We approached some of these clients, offering them to participate in the FAST market, explaining how it worked, what the requirements were, for example, having a trusted third-party to receive content to use their schedule to build the play out streams and also to deliver those play out streams to the FAST platforms operators. Those third parties are Wurl, Amagi, and OTTera, among others. Condista works with Wurl. I have negotiated your form with better terms for our clients. All of the FAST Channels we work with today, except one, are owned by the owners of the linear products we distribute on cable and satellite,” explained Cross.

He said that, at the time, a couple of the clients were interested in the FAST space and had the content available to do it. Then they went to Roku, who was optimistic and decided to launch the two channels. At the time, Roku did not have much content in Spanish. “We signed two contracts with Roku and Wurl in the second quarter of 2021, and the channels launched in the third quarter: Meganoticias of PCTV and RCN Más of RCN Colombia and from that moment on, the FAST business was up and running for Condista.”

The FAST channel offering that Condista currently represents includes PCTV Meganoticias available on The Roku Channel, Canela, Plex, TCL, VIDAA (Hisense), Xiaomi, and fuboTV; RCN Más of RCN Colombia on The Roku Channel, Canela, ViX, fuboTV, Plex, TCL, VIDAA (Hisense) and Xiaomi; RCN Xtra, also of RCN available on The Roku Channel, Canela, fuboTV, Plex, TCL, VIDAA (Hisense) and Xiaomi; VR+ of Satellite Entertainment (the owners of Video Rola) which is on The Roku Channel and launching fuboTV in September 2023; the FAST channels of Atresmedia Cine y Series, Única and Zona Comunicación, launching fuboTV for Q4 2023; Cine Premium Plus from Latin Entertainment Group (LEG) on Plex; and TIGO Sports on ViX and fuboTV.

For Cross, FAST represents an opportunity to monetize library content and offset the losses from traditional cable distribution.

In his opinion, the main benefit of FAST versus other business models is the robust data set available to FAST channel owners, which they can get directly from the platforms or third parties such as Wurl and Amagi. “That doesn’t exist in traditional cable, and programmers have wanted as much data as they can get from the satellite and cable operators, but the cable and satellite guys don´t give it because they recognize the value of data. FAST is a data-driven business.”

For Cross, who admits to being a data guy, the level of detail about audience tastes offered by data from FAST “is brilliant” and cannot be obtained in the traditional space. “This allows me to make decisions about the channels that reflect that data so that we offer what people want.”

He mentioned that FAST offers benefits to the content owner. “To get his brand and content out so the user becomes familiar with the brand, gets exposure and, may -based on that exposure-, ultimately become a pay TV subscriber for the more robust channels offered under the same brand.”

FAST also allows content owners to reach an audience that might not be available today: the disconnected audience, an audience who cut cable or never had cable to begin with. “FAST presents an opportunity to get in the living room of these folks by means different from cable or satellite.”

“All that FAST requires is a broadband connection and a smart TV. It opens up the whole country to these content owners. Whether on the satellite and cable space, they are relegated to try to reach over 6 million households,” he pointed out.

Cross mentioned that advertisers have fallen in love with FAST. “There are a lot of advertisers looking to reach the Latino audience and have found FAST to be a perfect solution. This is reflected in the fill rates on these channels. The fill rates on these channels are high because advertisers are interested and they have been looking for other ways to reach the Hispanic Market. FAST has given them the direct path to the users.”

Maribel Ramos-Weiner