Niche channels will deliver a hyper-targeted interactive audience, ripe for national and local advertisers, as well as brand sponsorships.
Media aggregation firm FreeCast is announcing 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 is both more profitable and more accessible for content creators, advertisers, and viewers alike. The 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.
FreeCast’s ability to easily 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 like the Food Network, these micro-channels would focus on more specific interests, such as baking or barbecue. This is 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, only a small fraction of whom 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. 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.” explained FreeCast CEO William Mobley.
To create these channels, FreeCast will allow channel sponsors to access a curation tool used internally, known as AggreCast, which powers thousands of pre-programmed linear channels on the company’s SelectTV platform. These new micro-channels, however, will not be limited to SelectTV; distribution via Roku, Facebook, YouTube, and other popular platforms will be supported. Additionally, the company expects to make an announcement very soon describing OTA distribution in all major markets allowing these channels to reach the largest possible audiences and maximize advertising revenues.
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