The statement from Sarandos came in response to a direct question about FAST platforms, which have been in the spotlight in recent months since Warner Brothers Discovery announced their intention to get into them in a big way. FAST programming options were once synonymous with B-movies and a random collection of not-quite-classics, but the major FAST platforms that are already on the market have been snagging headlines lately. Last year, the Daniel Radcliffe-led parody biopic “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” forwent a release on an expected streamer in favor of premiering on The Roku Channel. That hasn’t stopped it from picking up serious accolades since its release, including two Critics Choice Awards.
If Netflix were to get into FAST programming, it’s worth noting that it wouldn’t be as simple as viewers watching all of the Netflix Originals in one place for free. Variety reports that Warner Bros Discovery plans to move some of its cancelled or removed-from-streaming shows to FAST platforms (their own and those controlled by third-parties), but past earning calls indicate those catalogs likely won’t entirely overlap with the pre-existing streaming services we know and love. Peacock is one existing example of a streamer with a significant paid catalog and a smaller FAST programming slate. Any other major streamers getting into FAST platforms would likely follow this path, with only a limited catalog available to unpaid subscribers.
For now though, it sounds like Netflix isn’t chomping at the bit to make the move yet. “We’re keeping an eye on that segment, for sure, Sarandos said in response to the questions about FAST streamers.
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Author: Valerie Ettenhofer
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January 20, 2023