This was one of the first and most interesting conferences we have attended this year, as we discovered that the Central and Eastern European (CEE) market is on track to reach $42M in FAST revenues by 2028, according to new research conducted by Omdia. This territory is thus joining this newly-explored market, which is currently dominated by the US but is witnessing a rapid expansion in other Anglo-Saxon territories, such as UK, Canada, and Australia.
During her presentation, Maria Rua Aguete said: “Though CEE is present in the FAST race, growth will be limited compared to other regions. Traditional linear TV and social video have typically driven video advertising revenues in CEE, which have generated $5.6B and $1.1B respectively. Pay TV is still growing in this market alongside a strong traditional free-to-air viewing model. This region’s online advertising market is a lot less developed compared to their Western Europe counterparts and there is currently no ecosystem or marketplace that can provide premium AVOD and FAST services. A combination of these factors has resulted in reduced consumer interest in FAST.”
Rakuten and Plex are the only FAST services available in CEE, as of now – there are a few local players in CEE, such as Kabaret TV in Poland, but overall, the FAST market is only recently growing there, and has a lot to learn. Due to CEE’s current smaller market size, international FAST channel operators have not launched their channels there yet: for example, ITV Studios considers the cost of dubbing as the main reason for not yet launching FAST in Italy or Spain, meaning that CEE markets will have to wait even further.
“Several of these dynamics underline the low cost and minimal investment required for FAST to succeed across the CEE market. Artificial intelligence is a technology channel operator DAZN is looking into as a means to provide cost-effective dubbing. This is definitely a market to watch over the coming years,” concluded Maria Rua Aguete.