5 tips for programming your FAST channel

By Senior Sales Director - Head of Digital, Amagi - December 2, 2022

I have the privilege of working with hundreds of Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) channel content owners daily. The genres they work with might differ, but they all share three common objectives: 

  1. An extensive reach to as many audiences as possible 
  2. Great engagement rates to keep the audience hooked for as long as possible
  3. Content stickiness to ensure the audience keeps coming back for more

Competing for your audience's attention and loyalty can be pretty challenging, and that's no longer a secret! Therefore, I often find many customers asking for ideas around reshaping their FAST programming operations to stay ahead of the competition.

In my attempt to help them, I turned to two things all of us in the business swear by -- data and experience. 

I looked through the numbers to understand what the top-performing channels do from the programming perspective. Some lengthy conversations with Amagi's managed scheduling team, who have been instrumental in helping many successful FAST channels with daily programming operations for years, helped immensely.

As a result, I narrowed down my research into five quick tips for effectively programming a FAST channel. Here they are:

Tip 1: Audiences love change 

Change programming daily. Your viewers prefer to watch a different program whenever they land on your channel. Keep them pleasantly surprised by changing your programming daily.

Tip 2: Make the most of prime time

While it goes without saying that your premier or most famous programs belong to prime time, there's a catch here. Prime time can vary based on your channel genre and audience demographics. For example, if you aim to reach children, select afternoon air times as they might sleep early, especially on school nights. Also, consider airing your long-form content during weekends only.

Tip 3: Repeat your prime-time programming

If viewers miss the program during prime time (usually from 6 pm to 12 am), make it possible for them to catch their favorite prime time programs either in the morning or afternoon.

Tip 4: Never underestimate the power of cross-promotion 

Use promos, dynamic overlays, and secondary elements like "Coming up" or other interactive experiences to cross-promote content without disrupting viewing experiences.

Tip 5: Reach big with live streaming  

Create, and air live events that attract big audiences, such as Holiday movie marathons, special cooking shows, Grammys, etc. 

(Bonus tip): Personalized programming can do wonders 

Deliver schedule modifications based on each platform's business rules. 

I hope these tips help you bedazzle your audiences while enabling you to make the most of your content. 

You got other FAST programming tips we all could benefit from? I would love to hear them so we can shape this list together.

Please leave a comment or email me at luda.ruditsky@amagi.com.