Demystifying Data Access: Strategies to Obtain the FAST Platform Data You Need

08.24.2023 | Ray Gilmartin

As competition intensifies in the linear streaming market, FAST platform data is an increasingly valuable asset for content sellers monetizing video assets on FAST streaming services. With access to content performance and engagement data, sellers can make revenue-optimizing decisions about content production/acquisition, distribution, and marketing investments.

But getting platform data from FAST services isn’t always easy. While data rights can be negotiated as part of the content licensing process, content sellers aren’t always successful in securing access to the most valuable data available from distribution partners.

In this blog, we explore the challenge of obtaining the data that content sellers need to accelerate FAST distribution workflows and maximize FAST channel revenue.


FAST data explained

FAST and AVOD platforms are both monetized through advertising revenue, so the metrics used to track content performance and user engagement are fairly similar.

Standard data from ad-based platforms platforms include metrics like the total number of views, number of minutes viewed, and total revenue generated for each video asset. Ideally, content sellers also want access to additional metrics like number of unique viewers, total number of ad impressions, and a breakdown of net/gross revenue.

Content sellers distributing FAST channels want access to all of these metrics at both the channel level and the title level so they can understand content performance and optimize scheduling on their channels.


The role of FAST platforms and channel originators in data access

Content sellers use cloud-based video platforms known as channel originators to set up FAST channels and make them available for distribution on FAST services like Pluto TV, Tubi, and Roku. Channel origination platforms like Amagi, Frequency, and Wurl allow content sellers to build out their channels, schedule programming, and insert ad-blocks that FAST distribution partners will fill with advertising.

Channel origination platforms provide a turnkey solution for content sellers to spin up linear video channels for distribution on FAST services. (Source)


Due to this workflow, content sellers get data from both the channel originator and the FAST platforms. Channel originators provide some viewership and performance data that content sellers use for channel scheduling. When the OTT platforms provide data, it’s often aggregated at the channel-level, not the title-level. This lack of granularity makes it difficult for content sellers to determine the performance of individual shows, and complicates important financial tasks such as calculating royalty payments owed to actors and content creators.


The importance of data frequency

Another key factor for content sellers getting data from OTT platforms is data frequency. A monthly or quarterly summary of content performance isn’t nearly enough data and comes too late for content sellers to extract value from it.

Content sellers rely on insight to make smart strategic decisions. For instance: which content performs best in a given time slot, which schedule attracts the biggest audience, and which combination of regions / distribution platforms / content produces the highest engagement. This involves analyzing a massive amount of data, so content sellers need resources (in-house experts and tools) or platforms (like Revedia Digital) to automate the process of aggregating, normalizing, and managing data to extract valuable insights.


Understanding OTT data access challenges

Content sellers face three significant challenges when it comes to accessing content performance and audience engagement data from FAST and AVOD distribution partners:

1) Lack of data architecture

In some cases, OTT streaming service providers can’t provide content sellers with relevant data because they haven’t invested in the infrastructure needed to store, format, or analyze the data.

2) Dysfunctional data access

Some streaming providers invest in data architectures and create web-based portals where content sellers can access OTT platform data. However, these online interfaces are sometimes difficult to access, buggy, or lack features that would allow content sellers to make better use of their data. They also don’t guarantee that data will be provided at the required frequency or granularity to support data-driven decision-making for content sellers.

3) Insufficient data

Some OTT streaming providers view platform data as a proprietary asset. This drives them to limit the type and amount of data they choose to share with content sellers.

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Data rights are up for negotiation

On the broadcast side, content sellers can always threaten MVPDs with blackouts. But when it comes to FAST distribution, the only real leverage content sellers have is how ad revenue their content can generate in a crowded market. Hype impacts the perceived demand for an asset, while data reveals its true value.

We see a wide variety of data sets from OTT platforms, and can attest that the data provided to content sellers varies greatly from deal to deal and platform to platform. The most likely explanation is that parties negotiated different rights during the content licensing process.

OTT platforms are more willing to share data in exchange for high-value content, but we still see content sellers accepting FAST distribution deals with minimal data access rights just to get their channels viewed. Content sellers should think about how they can leverage high-value assets in licensing negotiations to secure better data rights across their whole library of video assets.

FAST streaming platforms often have the data content sellers need to optimize their FAST channels, but it’s up to the content sellers to negotiate for that data.


Leveraging data for OTT monetization success

How, exactly, can content sellers use viewership and revenue data from FAST platforms?

  • Identify top revenue-generating or most popular video assets
  • Track which shows are the most popular at certain times of day
  • Determine which times of the day/week their channels have the most viewers
  • Strategically schedule content on to maximize viewership/ad impressions
  • Evaluate opportunities and trends across services/markets

Getting high-frequency access to granular OTT data is just the first step. Next, content sellers must aggregate and normalize data to enable detailed analysis. This process can be extremely time-consuming, especially for content sellers receiving thousands of rows of data in non-standardized formats from multiple FAST distribution partners.


How we analyze FAST data with Revedia Digital

Revedia Digital is a data intelligence platform that allows content sellers to aggregate and normalize OTT platform data at scale, then analyze the data to extract valuable insights into content performance, audience engagement, and revenue generation.

With Revedia Digital, content sellers distributing FAST channels can efficiently aggregate and normalize FAST content performance and revenue data, then analyze the data to inform licensing negotiations, automate financial processes, optimize FAST channel scheduling, and make data-driven decisions to maximize revenue from their video assets.


View our free on-demand Webinar Revedia Digital FAST Workflows to see how Revedia can help you manage, optimize, and predict content and distributor revenue across all your FAST channels.

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