The rise of AVOD, FAST, and Connected TVs is revolutionizing the way people consume content, offering vast opportunities for independent creators and publishers to reach global audiences. However, despite the promise of democratization and higher revenues, these creators face significant challenges in the AVOD/Connected TV business.
First, navigating content distribution presents a significant roadblock. CTV platforms are crowded with content, making it hard for small publishers to get accepted by major OTTs. Without substantial previous branding or existing partnerships, gaining access to viewers becomes a daunting task.
Second, content discovery poses a formidable challenge. With the barrier to entry relatively low, the market is flooded with FAST Channels vying for attention. Standing out amidst the noise becomes an arduous task, demanding unique and high-quality content. Moreover, established studios and networks dominate the space, making it difficult for independent creators to secure premium ad placements, thus limiting their revenue potential. Without a robust promotional strategy or external support, independent creators struggle to gain visibility, hindering their growth prospects.
Third, monetization complexities add to the challenges. OTTs and Playout services typically have intricate revenue-sharing models. This unpredictability makes it difficult for creators to plan their finances and sustain themselves solely through content publication. The competition among consumer electronics, playout services, and programmatic agencies often results in small publishers losing their fair share of equity.
Fourth, technical complexities and programming standards demand robust infrastructure and expertise, which small publishers might lack. Delivering content in the right format, ensuring smooth streaming, and meeting viewer expectations for the right content at the right time and device require investments that might strain limited resources.
In conclusion, publishers in the CTV business face a range of challenges, from resource limitations to discoverability issues and monetization struggles. Overcoming these challenges necessitates a combination of creativity, strategic partnerships, and efficient use of available resources to carve a niche and thrive in our dynamic industry. My advice to publishers is to retain ownership of their inventory and intellectual property to safeguard their advertising revenue. At Spanglish, we are committed to supporting IP owners on this journey.
That’s why we also co-founded the FAST Alliance, which brings together independent and international publishers to collectively boost the growth of the entire AVOD/FAST/CTV ecosystem from the perspective of content owners.