• Vevo’s New FAST Channels on Roku Highlight Diverse CTV Viewing Behaviors

    Vevo has launched 11 free ad-supported TV (“FAST”) channels within The Roku Channel. FAST channels are free 24/7 programmed linear experiences that can be tuned into by viewers on-demand. Vevo’s new FAST channels are another reminder that CTV viewers have a diverse range of behaviors; sometimes accessing a single “unit” of programming on-demand (e.g. a movie, a TV episode, a music video, etc.) or binge-watching multiple units, or watching on-demand a curated set of programming from a linear TV or FAST channel, or even accessing a scheduled, linear TV experience (most notably sports).

    I’ve often thought of FAST channels as analogous to playlists in the audio world and the new Vevo channels feel like they fit that mode. The new channels include  Vevo Pop, Vevo R&B, Vevo Hip Hop, Vevo Reggaeton & Trap, Vevo Country, Vevo Latino, Vevo ‘70s, Vevo ‘80s, Vevo ‘90s, Vevo 2K, and Vevo Holiday, which will be accessible through New Year’s Eve. I sampled a few of the channels and as expected they all played their particular genre seamlessly.

    Vevo has had an app on Roku since 2013 but the new FAST channels are clearly a push toward greater viewer engagement and ad revenue, while differentiating Vevo’s brand from among other music content sources available in The Roku Channel.

    In June Vevo said that CTV ad revenue accounted for nearly 50% of its total revenue. For more detail on what’s driven the growth, from just 4% back in Q1 2020, Colin and I interviewed then VP of West Coast Sales Andrea Zapata on the podcast in April (over the summer Andrea became Head of Research, Data and Insights at WarnerMedia). Vevo has announced a slew of integrations and partnerships with CTV devices and streaming services since then, including internationally.

    Beyond its deep library of music videos, a key success factor for Vevo in FAST is its curation expertise. Last month at VideoNuze’s CTV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit Vevo’s SVP, Revenue Operations Natalie Gabathuler-Scully highlighted this expertise as an asset for creating brand suitable and brand safe content environments for advertisers. The same skills also mean Vevo can continue to create more customized FAST channels for particular audiences, especially as its user data and its partners’ user data reveal specific opportunities.

    This is ultimately the potential for FAST channels - deep libraries plus expert curation equals targeted audiences for high value advertising. Vevo seems to fully understand this formula and no doubt will further capitalize on it going forward.