Samsung TV Plus sets ‘soft cap’ on channels, as FAST exclusivity demands grow

Jennifer Batty

Samsung TV Plus is increasingly looking for exclusive channels and content for its FAST platform, as well as setting a “soft cap” on the number of channels on its service.

Jennifer Batty, who became head of content acquisition for Samsung’s FAST service last year, said surging interest in the space had created an environment in which platforms needed to differentiate themselves.

“We want to offer consumers something that is unique and special,” she told the FAST & Global strand at MIPTV. “Exclusivity is definitely the direction that we’re looking at.”

How that desire for exclusive content stacks up against the current returns from FAST is unclear, but former Hooq exec Batty said it “is definitely part of the conversation” with rights holders and channel owners.

“As FAST evolves, we want to be able to differentiate ourselves with content we are taking to people. Having content everywhere means it is harder to build the brand. We want people to say, ‘oh, I want to watch that and it’s only on Samsung TV Plus.”

Batty added that Samsung is also looking to put a “soft cap” on the number of channels available in each country, which will tend to be around the 120 mark.

The exec added that Samsung would work with channels that were not performing to drive viewership, but admitted that the service wanted to keep a capped EPG to ensure viewers were not overloaded with options.

Shaun Keeble, VP of digital rights, added that non-exclusive content is prevalent on his company channels, which total 22 at present, carrying shows such a Deal Or No Deal.

But he added that exclusivity was increasingly important.

“From a content perspective, we are wearing the costs by launching channels, but we also understand barriers to entry are lowering,” he said, adding that non exclusive channels provided “economies of scale.”

“For more exclusivity, things need to change in terms of commercial bonding but there is certainly a need for differentiation especially across more maturing markets in FAST.”


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