Digital TV Research: Streaming Ad Revenue From Movies, TV Shows to Reach $18 Billion by 2028

Global ad-supported streaming revenue for TV series and movies will reach $18 billion in 2028, triple from $6 billion in 2022, according to analysis from Digital TV Research. The U.S. would contribute $9.9 billion (55%) to the 2028 total, compared with $4 billion (67%) in 2022. The U.S. would add nearly $6 billion through 2028 — or half of the world’s $12 billion additional revenue.

“The FAST market by platform will remain fragmented. Pluto TV, The Roku Channel and Samsung TV Plus will account for half the global total by 2028,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

Indeed, Pluto TV is projected to continue its international expansion, with global revenue reaching $4.2 billion by 2028, quadruple from $1.1 billion in 2022. Separately, Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported Tubi platform, which is confined to the U.S. market, is projected to reach $1 billion in ad revenue this year.

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BBC Studios Launches BBC Earth FAST Channel

In time for Earth Day, BBC Studios has launched a new BBC Earth free ad-supported television (FAST) channel.

Available now, the BBC Earth FAST channel brings more than 450 hours from more than 80 BBC Studios natural history shows to Amazon Freevee and Plex.

Content on BBC Earth includes:

  • Sir David Attenborough’s “Wildlife Specials” — Six of Sir David Attenborough’s “Wildlife Specials” are featured, including Elephants: Spy in the Herd and Gorillas: On the Trail of King Kong, in addition to several other Sir David Attenborough-presented natural history series.
  • Expedition Borneo — A BBC/Discovery Channel co-production, the series looks at a chain of steep mountains, deep gorges and high plateaus running down the spine of central Borneo. Protected from the outside world by this impenetrable terrain, the only people who survive in this wilderness are a few remote tribes. 
  • “Deadly 60” — From tiger sharks to giant centipedes, funnel web spiders to the golden poison frog, Steve Backshall’s latest adventure is a race against time to find the creatures others spend a lifetime avoiding.
  • “Galapagos” — The BBC/National Geographic Channel U.S. co-production looks at the inspiration behind Darwin’s theory of evolution. The Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory — a geological conveyor belt that has given birth to and seen the death of many species of plants and animals.
  • “Ganges” — A BBC/Travel Channel co-production in association with France 3, the series tells the story of the most extraordinary river in the world — the Ganges. Human life and nature bustle along her riverbanks, in a kaleidoscope of color and energy. 
  • “Wild Africa” — The BBC/Discovery Channel co-production looks at Africa’s burning sands, seas of grass and steaming forests, scarred by mountains and bejeweled with great lakes and rivers. 
  • “Wild Australasia” — The BBC/Animal Planet/ABC Australia co-production is a journey through time and space to explore Australasia’s natural wonders, delving into its hidden secrets to explain why its wildlife and wilderness are so special.

 

BBC Earth marks BBC Studio’s 12th FAST Channel since first entering the FAST space in 2019.

“We’re delighted to launch BBC Earth as a FAST channel,” Beth Anderson, GM/SVP of FAST channels for North America and Latin America at BBC Studios, said in a statement. “With availability on Amazon Freevee and Plex, U.S. audiences can now enjoy BBC Studios’ deep catalog of award-winning natural history programming, all editorially, personally curated and available for free. With Earth Day around the corner, now is the perfect time to tune in, marvel at the natural wonder and splendor of the seven continents and immerse yourself in the beauty of our ever-changing planet.”

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“With the addition of the BBC Earth FAST channel to Plex, we are bringing the natural world’s wonder and beauty to our users’ screens,” Shawn Eldridge, VP of business development and content at Plex, said in a statement. “The extraordinary content created by BBC Studios inspires us to protect and cherish our planet while immersing ourselves in astonishing storytelling. With hundreds of hours of ad-supported programming, there’s no better way to celebrate Earth Day than tuning in to BBC Earth on Plex.”

Sling Freestream Adds Nine New Free Channels

Sling Freestream has added nine new channels, and now offers more than 265 channels and 41,000 on demand titles free.

The Freestream library now contains six true crime devoted channels and four home improvement channels.

The new Sling Freestream channels include: 

  • Hipstr, which features  documents, comedies, indies, “old school cool,” diverse voices, crime and “scary out of this world shows”;
  • Real Disaster Channel, with disaster and survival stories;
  • Crime & Justice, in which real-life investigations unfold;
  • Property & Reno, for dream home inspiration, expert advice, and incredible reveals;
  • 21 Jump Street, dedicated to cop series “21 Jump Street,” where cops masquerade as high school students and hunt for criminals, starring Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Holly Robinson Peete and Peter DeLuise;
  • America’s Dumbest Criminals, which is all about the lighter side of crime and features hosts Debbie Alan and Daniel Butler as they look at lawbreakers through a humorous lens;
  • FilmRise Anime, with anime including sagas “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” “Beyblade” and “Sonic X” plus hit classics like “Lupin the Third,” “Saint Seiya,” “Shin Tetsujin 28,” and more;
  • FilmRise Classic TV, featuring six decades of primetime hits such as “21 Jump Street,” “Hunter” and “Greatest American Hero”;
  • FilmRise Free Movies, featuring film stars such as Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Zac Efron and more in our massive selection of free blockbusters.

 

Sling Freestream is available through the Sling app on Roku, Comcast, LG, Samsung, Xbox and Vizio devices.

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Xumo Play Bows Nature and Wildlife FAST Channel

Xumo Play, a free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service, has announced the launch of the Xumo Free Nature and Wildlife TV channel, coinciding with Earth Month in April, and featuring more than 150 hours of themed content.

Channel highlights include two docuseries, “Off the Fence: Butterflies: Superheroes of Nature” and “Nature’s Ultimate Survivors,” both of which are premiering in the United States for the first time, exclusively on Xumo Play.

The channel will be curated by Xumo Play’s programming team into themed blocks such as Big Cats, Safari, Wildest Places, Baby Animals and more.

“Our new Nature and Wildlife TV channel will offer Xumo Play viewers a wide array of engaging and high-quality nature programming, including two new exclusive documentaries from the Academy award-winning production house, Off the Fence,” Anthony Layser, executive director of content acquisition and programming strategy for Xumo, said in a statement.

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Rounding out Xumo Play’s entire genre of nature and wildlife content are an additional eight themed channels, including Stingray Naturescape; Love Nature; PBS Nature; WildEarth; eScapes; Xplore; and NatureVision TV.

“FAST channels offer significant opportunities for platforms to carve out new niches and provide long term revenue, but the key to success as ever, is quality content,” Oliver Taprogge, director of digital sales at Off The Fence, said in a statement. “We are proud that Xumo has chosen to partner with Off The Fence for the launch of its Nature and Wildlife channel, which includes a great line up from our content catalogue and territory premieres for two of our key shows. It makes for the perfect Earth Day launch and FAST channel partnership.”

‘Rocky,’ ‘Sailor Moon’ Channels Among Content Headed to Pluto TV in March

Free streaming TV service Pluto TV has announced new channels and programming coming to the service in March, including channels with “Rocky” movies and “Sailor Moon” content.

On March 1, the Hollywood movie franchise “Rocky” will enter the Pluto TV programming ring with a new, limited-run channel — Pluto TV Rocky. The channel will stream the “Rocky Collection,” featuring Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990) and Rocky Balboa (2006).

Beginning every Wednesday in March, Pluto TV will be highlighting WOW — Women of Wrestling with the new season one reboot episodes and two docuseries, “My Road to WOW — The Secrets of the Superheroes” and “The Origin of WOW — Women of Wrestling,” coming later this month. To celebrate, wrestlers from WOW — Women of Wrestling will join Pluto TV’s Stream-Along on social media every Wednesday in March where they will share insights and special behind-the-scenes commentary.

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The classic anime television show “Sailor Moon,” based on the manga originally launched in the 1990s, will also be joining the Pluto TV lineup in March. The Sailor Moon channel will provide viewers access to hundreds of hours and episodes, including all 200 episodes of “The Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon,” all episodes of “The Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Crystal,” and The Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon R: The Movie, The Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon S: The Movie and The Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Super S: The Movie.

Season 13 of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” will stream exclusively on Pluto TV on the MST3K channel, and all seven seasons of “Star Trek: Voyager” will land on Pluto TV’s dedicated Star Trek channel, More Star Trek.

Also in March, Pluto TV is adding 2,000 on-demand episodes from CBS and Paramount Media Networks series. Select seasons will be available from shows including “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “The Challenge,” “The Hills,” “Key & Peele,” “Bar Rescue,” “Nathan for You,” “Judge Judy” and more.  This latest installment follows the 6000-plus CBS episodes added to Pluto TV’s VOD section late last year.

FilmRise Acquires North American Streaming Rights to ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ TV Series

New York-based film and television studio and streaming network FilmRise has acquired North American rights to stream TV episodes based on the anime property “Yu- Gi-Oh!” from Konami Cross Media NY, a member of the Konami Group.

The deal grants AVOD streaming rights for the FilmRise Streaming Network, including all FilmRise owned and operated apps and FAST channels. 

“Adding ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ to our content offering is a major step forward for FilmRise in our aim to offer fans the opportunity to watch their favorite anime programs for free. This iconic Japanese property will be featured alongside other beloved anime content on our FilmRise Anime channel, a growing new destination for North American anime fans,” Max Einhorn, SVP of acquisitions and co-production at FilmRise, said in a statement. 

“We are excited to partner with FilmRise to expand the reach of the ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ series to fans on their successful and rapidly growing FilmRise Streaming Network,” Kristen Gray, president of Konami Cross Media, said in a statement.

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The “Yu-Gi-Oh!” franchise is based on the manga series that inspired a trading card game played with monsters, spells and traps, several video games, the television series and more. The video streaming package includes 808 episodes of the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” TV series in English, and 541 dubbed in Spanish. It includes “Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters” (236 episodes); “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX” (155 episodes); “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” (123 episodes); “Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL” (146 episodes) and “Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V” (148 episodes).

OTT.X Speakers: Streaming Market Entering a New, More Competitive Phase

The streaming marketplace is entering a new phase as consumers balk at paying for more subscription services and turn to cheaper and free ad-supported options. But while those more economical options are experiencing growth, that marketplace, too, is getting more crowded and competitive. That’s according to speakers at the OTT.X Online event Feb. 23.

“The days of build it and they will come are over,” said Quincy Newell, CEO of TwentyOne14, which operates Fuse Beat, available on Roku and offering entertainment and lifestyle content targeting Black culture.

“Quality is important and key. Exclusivity is preferable,” he said.

“I think original content is becoming more important,” said Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus. The AVOD service garners original content from parent company Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Gary Delfiner, CEO of Watchfreeflix, which offers various free streaming channels of licensed content via Roku and other platforms, noted originals aren’t as important as some think.

“I’m not that focused on original content,” he said. “I can’t afford it. I’m not Amazon and I’m not Netflix.”

Watchfreeflix plays to its strengths in horror and action thrillers, among other genres, he said.

“I believe that quantity and not sacrificing quality is the reason people are watching my channels,” he said.

He noted that SVOD services aren’t refreshing their new content that frequently, while he is constantly getting new content and creating new channels, all offered to audiences at no cost.

“I think free is a good price,” he said.

Guelton agreed that free ad-supported services have an advantage, but the competition is getting fiercer.

“When it comes to AVOD, the game is almost over,” he said. “On the FAST [free ad-supported TV], linear side, I think there’s a much longer runway.”

Newell said that his company is careful about what content it acquires and creates to stay on top of the market.

“I don’t want to have long-term licenses,” he said, adding he likes to refresh content based on audience feedback.

His team subscribes to other services to identify gaps in the marketplace and uses social media to communicate with audiences.

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“We have a very large social presence,” added Zack Coffman, founder and CEO of global OTT distributor One World Digital.

Jonathan Skogmo, founder and CEO of Jukin Media, said his team uses social media to incubate content ideas.

Platforms, such as Roku, can be an important and influential marketing partner, speakers said.

“It’s the platforms that hold the gate,” said Berkin Ecevit, sales and business development director at SPI International, a global media company that is moving into the FAST space.

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Getting to the top of the marketing list at such platforms is challenging, he said.

“Valentine’s day you’ve got to have love movies,” he noted. “What if we don’t have those?”

“The big question is what kind of leverage do we have,” Guelton added. “What can we trade? … and, yes, it can be money.”

The type of content distributors can offer is key, too.

“They’re willing to promote it for free if it’s exclusive,” Guelton said, adding the quality of the brand is important as well.

“The Crackle brand is well-respected,” he said, as is that of its parent Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Kathryn Przybyla, director of social media at America’s Test Kitchen, agreed that a good brand gives FAST players a leg up.

“People know who ATK is,” she said.

Coffman said communicating with the platforms is key.

“Start to pay attention to what the platforms are telling you,” he said, adding “if you become a great partner, the platform is more than happy to work with you.”

Skogmo noted that there’s a “sense of choice paralysis” among consumers that makes brand equity and good key art crucial.

“I think you have to have a really clear voice of what you’re curating and why you’re curating,” he said.

Stuart McLean, CEO of FAST Studios, told FAST players to “lean in on graphics packages and thumbnails.”

As a platform player among the panelists, Jennifer Vaux, head of content acquisition at the Roku Channel was coy about what prompts Roku to market a channel above others.

“You’re essentially telling the viewer what they’re going to spend their time with,” she said, adding with hundreds of channels to search through, content owners “really need to cut through the noise.”

As far as what Roku is looking for in acquiring and promoting a channel, she said a strong IP is attractive, as well as a deep library.

“We’re always looking to partner with people who have expertise in different genres,” she also said.

The data that a streaming channel collects is helpful in defining a strategy, speakers said.

“Sometimes content resonates completely differently depending on the platform,” Przybyla said.

In contrast with legacy channels, streamers get real-time data, McLean said.

“We don’t wait for Nielsen,” Coffman said.

“We’re lucky because we are a platform … we generally see what people are watching on our own channels and use that to inform our programming decisions,” Roku’s Vaux said.

While the U.S. market is crowded, speakers noted that going global might make sense.

“I think the world is wide open,” SPI’s Ecevit said.

“That’s a market that is wide open and somewhat untouched,” Watchfreeflix’s Delfiner agreed.

Clockwise from top left, moderator Anthony Layser of Xumo and panelists Jennifer Vaux of the Roku Channel, Jonathan Skogmo of TMB, Kathryn Przybyla of America’s Test Kitchen, and Zack Coffman of One World Digital.

ElectricNow FAST Channel Available on Samsung Smart TVs and Mobile Devices

Electric Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production, distribution and post-production company, has partnered with Samsung to deliver ElectricNow’s FAST channel on all U.S. Samsung smart-TVs and select mobile devices. 

“Our live linear channel will now be reaching the enormous Samsung TV Plus audience,” Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, said in a statement. “This is extremely exciting for us and ElectricNow, specifically since we will be able to expose new viewers to our fan favorites, such as ‘Leverage,’ ‘The Librarians,’ ‘Almost Paradise’ and ‘The Outpost.’ We are happy to report that the ElectricNow app has millions of viewers since its inception and is rapidly growing on a consistent basis.”

ElectricNow is a premium OTT app and FAST channel featuring Electric Entertainment’s own produced content such as TV series “Leverage,” “The Librarians,” and “The Outpost,” as well as acquired programming such as the feature films Blackway, starring Anthony Hopkins, and The Book of Love, starring Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams. The ElectricNow Channel is available on platforms including The Roku Channel, Plex, STIRR, Local Now, Sling TV, TiVo Plus, IMDb TV, Redbox, XUMO, Distro TV and Select TV. In addition to the free streaming content, the ElectricNow App also includes special bonus feature content, a program guide, and video-on-demand and pay-per-view components. The channel and app are home to Electric’s newly launched podcast network, Electric Surge, which includes such series as “The Official Leverage: Redemption Aftershow: A Very Distinctive Podcast,” “Inglorious Treksperts,” “The 4:30 Movie,” “Best Movies Never Made” in a line-up that includes podcasts devoted to “Star Trek,” “Dr. Who” and other sci-fi and entertainment industry-related topics.

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Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., Electric Entertainment is an independent studio headed by veteran producer Dean Devlin along with his partners Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson. Electric Entertainment also houses Electric Post, a digital effects and post-production facility.

FilmRise Picks Up FAST Rights to Canadian Series ‘Kim’s Convenience’

FilmRise, the New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, has acquired multi-territory, ad-supported digital linear (FAST) rights to the critically acclaimed Canadian comedy series “Kim’s Convenience” from Canada-based Thunderbird Entertainment.

The deal gives FilmRise exclusive FAST (free ad-supported streaming) rights to all five seasons of the series, which it will program across its existing FAST Channels as well as allow for the creation of dedicated marathon FAST channels of the series across the United States, Latin America, German-speaking Europe, French-speaking Europe, Italy and Spain. FilmRise plans to offer the series on FAST linear streaming channels on IMDb TV, Pluto, The Roku Channel, Samsung TV+ and the FilmRise Streaming Network, among others.

Originally broadcast on CBC starting in 2016, the series made its international debut on Netflix in 2018. 

Based on Ins Choi’s award-winning play of the same name, “Kim’s Convenience” depicts the Korean-Canadian Kim family who runs a convenience store in Toronto. During its five season run, the series was the winner of multiple Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Comedy Series, Foreign Drama of the Year at the Seoul International Drama Awards (2019), Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award for Best cast at the 2017 Toronto ACTRA Awards (Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists).

The comedy stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (“The Mandalorian”), Andrew Phung (“Run the Burbs”) Andrea Bang (“A Million Little Things”), Jean Yoon (“The Voyeurs”), Simu Liu  (Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and Nicole Power, who stars in “Strays,” which is the spin-off series from “Kim’s Convenience” that premiered in September 2021 on CBC.

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“As the FilmRise Streaming Network continues to grow, so does our approach in acquiring programs featuring unique stories from people of diverse backgrounds,” Max Einhorn,  SVP of acquisitions and co-productions for FilmRise, said in a statement. “‘Kim’s Convenience’ has had a huge impact on a wide range of viewers, and we are thrilled to bring this culturally relevant series for free to streaming audiences worldwide.”

“Kim’s delightful characters and beloved stories brought love and laughter into the hearts of many during its five seasons,” Richard Goldsmith, president of global distribution and consumer products at Thunderbird Entertainment, said in a statement. “Through our partnership with FilmRise, we are thrilled that new audiences internationally will have the opportunity to connect with and enjoy the heart-warming and hilarious experiences of the Kim family.”

Nielsen Launches Solution to Help Connected-TV Operators and Advertisers Better Target Consumers

Nielsen Jan. 4 announced the launch of a new research solution, Streaming Signals, which helps connected-TV operators and advertisers better understand who is watching a show within a household, according to the company.

Streaming Signals unbundles household viewing, allowing “both media buyers and media sellers to optimize and measure CTV reach for more efficient advertising, maximizing ad revenue and delivery to streaming audiences,” according to Nielsen.

Using custom machine learning models to determine who is in the household based on historical viewership data, Streaming Signals delivers a signal within 50 milliseconds to CTV operators of who is currently streaming program content instantly, according to Nielsen.

The solution is made possible by using machine-learning algorithms, viewing from Nielsen’s panel data, and CTV provider viewership data, according to Nielsen. Once integrated, the CTV provider will notify the Nielsen system and will receive a signal containing information regarding who is most likely watching within the household.

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“For example, if ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is being watched within a household, the 35-year-old male likely watching the show will be shown an auto ad instead of a yogurt ad, giving CTV operators the ability to sharpen ad delivery from their inventory,” read the Nielsen release.

“Nielsen Streaming Signals brings a layer of unmatched real-time, person-level demographic precision to audience optimization,” Ameneh Atai, GM of digital and advanced TV at Nielsen, said in a statement. “We know that the media industry is going through accelerated change, switching to a streaming-first approach, and with an audience watching programming whenever, wherever and on a number of devices. Nielsen is the only one that is unbundling the household because we are the only ones that sit at the intersection of the streaming behavior and audience data.”

Traditionally, clients have looked at on-target percentage when evaluating advertising on CTV. Streaming Signals lets clients to “positively impact” that percentage by knowing before the ad is served who is behind the CTV screen, according to Nielsen.