Playout Software: Why It’s Necessary for FAST Channels

By The Zype Team on November 29, 2022

If you’re serious about video content and ensuring yours gets in front of the right people, at the right time, and on the right platform, it’s likely you’ve heard of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST). FAST channels provide a way for content distributors to maximize viewership without making consumers commit to monthly subscriptions. Be sure to check out our article, FAST Channels: The Complete Guide for 2023 for a more in-depth look into the ins and outs of FAST channels.

FAST channels have experienced significant growth in the United States. In the second quarter of 2022, 55 percent of U.S. TV viewers watched FAST services.

If you want to take advantage of FAST’s rising popularity and launch your own channel, you need to use playout software.

Playout Software 101

For a FAST channel to work, it needs content. One of the factors that makes FAST channels stand out is their ability to leverage both live streams and video on demand (VOD).

Playout software enables you to program, monetize, and distribute FAST channels. VOD and live programs can be dragged and dropped into a schedule to create linear streams. With your ad markers and ad server enabled, it’s then just a case of choosing which streaming services and platforms you want to distribute your content on.

Who Uses Playout Software?

Playout software can be leveraged by anyone who wants to distribute content across multiple channels efficiently and effectively. It’s particularly powerful for those who want to utilize FAST channels and distribute a mix of subscription video on demand (SVOD) content, advertising video on demand (AVOD) content, and live streams.

Whether you’re a solo content producer or distributor, a broadcaster looking to explore new revenue streams, or a consumer brand that wants to connect with customers on different platforms, playout software is for you.

Online video distribution platforms were always seen as competitors to traditional broadcast television, and it’s easy to see why. Traditional broadcast TV systems enjoyed immense popularity and made large capital expenditure investments in their broadcasting equipment.

Then, online video distribution platforms came along, including cloud-based systems. These platforms enabled people to distribute content across a wide area to a variety of people without the need for large investments in equipment, personnel, training, and maintenance. Suddenly, scalability was no longer a problem.

Now, we’re seeing traditional broadcasting and VOD converging to create the FAST channels so many people enjoy. For broadcasters, playout software creates opportunities to extend distribution and create digital experiences using their existing libraries.

What Type of Content Can You Distribute with Playout Software?

As we’ve already mentioned, playout software supports a range of video content, including VOD and live streams. The real beauty, though, is how playout software enables you to streamline workflows and make smart programming decisions―no matter the type of content you work with.

Even live video insertion is made simple with playout software. You can mix it with VOD content to flesh out your FAST channel and ensure your viewers always have something to consume.

Why You Need Playout Software for Your FAST Channel

Playout software is essential for starting a FAST channel due to the range of features it offers. Take Zype’s Playout, for example, which boasts:

How Playout Software Works with a Video CMS

Another distinct advantage of playout automation software is how it can integrate with a video content management system (CMS), such as Zype’s VideoMeta CMS.

The big advantage is you can intuitively organize your video library by creating playlists, adding custom metadata, and setting content rules before pushing it to your playout software. This enables you to reap the benefits of both the CMS and the playout software in tandem, helping you take your video content management and distribution to the next level.

Utilizing Playout Software to Launch Your FAST Channel

If you’re a content distributor who wants to make the most of FAST channels’ growing popularity, playout software is, undoubtedly, a solid starting point. It can help get your FAST channel up and running with minimal barriers to adoption.

To learn more about why now is the time to capitalize on this emerging market, download our free white paper, Into the FAST Lane: 5 Essential Tactics for Starting a FAST Channel.

Connect your video with viewers, everywhere.