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Wurl looks to create ‘superhighway’ for FAST channel distribution with new offering

Wurl, a US streaming technology company specialising in FAST (free advertising-supported television) channels, is aiming to create a “superhighway for FAST channels” with the launch of its Global FAST Pass.

Sean Doherty Jr

The new offering will lower the barrier to entry for content companies looking to launch FAST channels internationally, according to Wurl, which already works with studios including A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Bloomberg, BBC Studios, CNN, Reuters and Sony to place their FAST channels on platforms such as Amazon IMDb TV, Roku and Samsung TV.

With the launch of Global FAST Pass, Wurl says content companies and distributors of almost any size will now be able to enter the FAST channel space and distribute their channels rapidly across the globe through connected TVs.

Wurl assists in two main areas through its Global FAST Pass: channel management, where Wurl helps prepare a channel to be launched in a FAST environment; and global distribution, with Wurl placing the FAST channel on connected TVs globally, inserting ads and providing measurement data.

“Global FAST Pass provides the lowest possible barrier to entry – technically, operationally and commercially – thanks to end-to-end connectivity, monetisation, security and reporting. With Global FAST Pass, our customers are building their FAST businesses at internet speed,” said Wurl chief operating officer Sean Doherty Jr.

To date, California-based Wurl has helped launch more than 1,200 FAST channels internationally, with those channels reaching over 300 million connected TVs. With the launch of its Global FAST Pass, the company says that number could increase rapidly as new companies enter the FAST market, while those already in the space launch channels in new territories and curate their content libraries in new ways to create new FAST channel brands.

“Our goal is to minimise the bottom-line costs associated with launching a streaming service, making it easier and faster for our customers to get on with the business of monetising their content,” added Doherty Jr.

The viewing experience for FAST channels is very similar to that of traditional live television, but delivered via the internet. They differ from AVoD channels in that FAST channels cannot be paused and do not permit rewinding or fast-forwarding.

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