Bootstrapping a FAST Channel is a bad idea -FAST (Free Ad-Supported TV) channels are linear channels that stream free content with ads, similar to traditional TV. FAST channels are becoming more popular among cord-cutters and cord-nevers, who are looking for alternative and diverse content options. However, launching and running a successful FAST channel is not an easy task, and it requires a lot of upfront investment and planning.
Bootstrapping is a common term in the startup world, which means starting and growing a business with minimal external funding, and relying on the revenue generated by the business itself. Bootstrapping is often seen as a desirable and admirable way of building a business, as it allows the founders to maintain full control and ownership of their venture, and to prove their product-market fit.
However, bootstrapping is not a viable option for FAST channels, as they face a different set of challenges and constraints than other types of businesses. Here are some of the reasons why bootstrapping a FAST channel is a bad idea:
- Content is king with FAST Channels: The most important factor for a FAST channel is the quality and quantity of the content it offers. Content is what attracts and retains the viewers, and what determines the ad revenue. However, content is also the most expensive and risky part of a FAST channel, as it requires a lot of upfront investment and licensing fees, and it may not always perform well or meet the expectations of the audience. Therefore, a FAST channel needs to have a large and diverse content catalog that appeals to a wide and loyal audience, and that requires a lot of capital and expertise.
- FAST Channel Marketing is essential: The second most important factor for a FAST channel is the marketing and promotion of the channel and its content. Marketing is what creates awareness and interest among the potential viewers, and what drives them to watch and engage with the channel. However, marketing is also a costly and competitive part of a FAST channel, as it requires a lot of resources and strategies, such as branding, advertising, social media, PR, and partnerships. Therefore, a FAST channel needs to have a strong and distinctive brand identity and value proposition, and a comprehensive and effective marketing plan.
- FAST Channel Technology is critical: The third most important factor for a FAST channel is the technology and infrastructure that supports the delivery and monetization of the content. Technology is what ensures the quality and reliability of the streaming experience, and what enables the integration and optimization of the ads. However, technology is also a complex and dynamic part of a FAST channel, as it requires a lot of development and maintenance, and it has to keep up with the changing standards and regulations of the streaming industry. Therefore, a FAST channel needs to have a robust and scalable technology platform and system, and a knowledgeable and agile technology team.
- FAST Channel Advertising Revenues are delayed: The fourth and final factor that makes bootstrapping a FAST channel impossible is the revenue cycle and payment terms of the ad industry. Unlike other types of businesses, where revenue is generated and received immediately or shortly after the sale of the product or service, FAST channels have to wait for 60 days or more to receive their ad revenue from the ad platforms and networks. This means that FAST channels have to incur a lot of expenses and liabilities before they can see any income or profit, and that they have to manage their cash flow and budget very carefully.
In conclusion, bootstrapping a FAST channel is a bad idea, as it requires a lot of upfront investment and planning, and it does not generate enough or timely revenue to sustain and grow the business. FAST channels need to seek external funding and support from investors, partners, and sponsors, who can provide them with the capital, expertise, and network they need to succeed in the streaming industry.