FreeCast forges micro-channel TV ecosystem
Claiming to be ushering in a new generation of low-cost television, media aggregation firm FreeCast has announced plans to create a new digital television ecosystem.
By using low-cost web and over-the-air (OTA) distribution, the company intends to create a television platform that it claims will be both more profitable and more accessible for content creators, advertisers and viewers alike. FreeCast believes that its new platform will be able to match brand sponsors with high quality off-the-shelf programming, including non- and post-syndicated shows from years past, as well as new professionally produced content that would not ordinarily have a large enough audience for national television.
The company adds that the ability to create and distribute channels will allow for more targeted micro-channels, catering to more specific audiences and thus more valuable to advertisers. In contrast to broadly-appealing cable channels, these micro-channels would focus on more specific interests, such as baking or barbecue. This, says FreeCast, will be an advantage to advertisers, who can reach smaller groups of people who are more likely to buy their products, versus paying a premium to reach larger audiences for whom FreeCast claims only a small fraction may be interested.
“Popular network shows need a million or more viewers watching to be economically viable. Whereas micro-channel shows may only have a few thousand people a night watching,” explained FreeCast CEO William Mobley. “If you’re a company like Pillsbury, you’d rather directly sponsor or advertise to those highly-targeted, pre-sorted people watching a Baking Channel, versus paying the premium to filter through millions of viewers absorbing various topics on the Food Network. We’re also making it possible for micro-channels focusing on, for example, regional high school, college, and semi-pro sports that might not draw in the millions of viewers needed to justify a slot on ESPN, but that appeals to large and valuable audiences none the less.”
To create these channels, FreeCast will allow channel sponsors to access a curation tool used internally, known as AggreCast, which powers pre-programmed linear channels on the company’s SelectTV platform. These new micro-channels will also be supported by distribution via Roku, Facebook and YouTube. The company also expects to make an announcement very soon describing OTA distribution in all major markets.
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