Today, more people than ever are consuming content through connected devices. Such consumption ranges from sports to news, films to soap operas, and religious content is no stranger to this transition. Traditionally, sermons and other religious information have been imparted in a physical mode, but the pandemic has driven us all indoors and to our streaming platforms of choice. As a result, more churches, religious groups and leaders have begun to offer online alternatives, and people are increasingly consuming content through these modes.
Currently, some of the most popular religious content offerings come in the form of podcasts, live-streamed events, and video-on-demand (VOD). Recently, leading religious broadcasters CBN moved to OTT platforms, indicating that more religious content creators will follow suit, making the right time to consider new-age approaches to reach new viewers and followers.
In 2016, nearly 3000 churches used online platforms to live stream over 150,000 events. The pandemic further added to the numbers when only 24% of Americans reported having visited a church or a synagogue every week in 2020. This has prompted demand for religious content that could be consumed remotely with almost half the American population watching an online church service during the pandemic.
How can free ad-supported streaming TV help?
Broadcasters and religious content owners can reach a wider audience that has readily embraced free ad-supported platforms like Pluto TV, XUMO, The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Peacock, STIRR and more over the last few years. The existing FAST infrastructure can help you spin channels faster and distribute them to a plethora of platforms across the world, achieve higher revenues via dynamic targeted ads, and fine tune your content strategy based on audience and ad analytics.
Broadcasters as well as content owners have been venturing into FAST in tandem with their audiences on platforms that they already love and enjoy, and to provide free content with less intrusive ads. This is in stark contrast to typical OTT offerings which are largely subscription based.
Today, large networks such as Daystar offer on-demand content through their proprietary channels, while the Trinity Broadcasting Network offers free content on Roku via a TV app. FAST provides varied opportunities for up-and-coming and established content creators alike.
For new creators in the religious broadcasting space, FAST is a means to reach a much wider audience than traditional broadcasting allows for.
For established creators, FAST makes it possible to reach audiences and build loyalty without the need for heavy capital investments as would be needed in building a mobile/ TV app. The existing content can be repurposed to launch a FAST channel.
What viewers want
Owing to a fast-paced lifestyle, and more recently the pandemic, viewers are now increasingly preferring online mediums to consume religious content and connect with their spiritual leaders. However, the market does not offer enough options to reach this single largest audience base in the world. Consumers require flexibility in viewing without diluting their connection with their faith.
Current online alternatives such as OTT platforms, podcasts, and VOD options either require a subscription or are brimming with irrelevant advertising. This is not only inconvenient for viewers but also dilutes the appeal of online religious content consumption.
What faith-based broadcasters and content owners need
It is a great time for religious broadcasters to innovate through ad supported models. Post the pandemic, a large number of people feel comfortable staying at home and FAST is one of the best ways to reach these audiences. Through the use of an ad supported platform, broadcasters reach wider audiences in different parts of the world. The content delivery can easily be optimized to adapt to the preferences and native languages of different people.
Further, FAST enables broadcasters to deliver intrusion-free dynamic advertisements. This not only increases revenue to sustain these channels but also helps provide relevant ad content to viewers. Further, the adaptable FAST environment allows creators to publish content across diverse formats through the same working environment.
The result? A dedicated audience base who gains access to their content of choice, advertising revenue from highly contextual ads that do not interrupt the viewing experience, and the ability to cater to more people beyond the boundaries of subscription services.
What Amagi can do for you
Amagi is the leading SaaS media technology company providing next generation cloud solutions for content owners, TV networks, and live sports/news producers to process, distribute and monetize their content worldwide. We operate a cloud content factory spanning over 2000 channel deliveries across 40+ countries, orchestrating tens of thousands of hours of live sports/news events, streaming 150M+ hours of video, and monetizing 2.5B+ ad opportunities per month.
Amagi can help you deliver content with the flexibility of public cloud platforms, thus adding scalability and extended reach to your arsenal. We enable everything from channel creation and scheduling to packaging with secondary graphics and captions to monetization through targeted ads and delivery to several platforms. We also provide content and ad analytics that tell you what’s really working for your audiences, thus helping you make the move to the FAST lane simpler, faster, and cost-effective.