Cannes Gets In The FAST Lane As Research Shows Movies Pack A Big Punch On Free Streaming

Movies and movie channels are driving viewing on FAST services, a packed room at the Cannes Marché du Film heard today. Owners of movie libraries and IP stand to generate significant revenue from free streaming as the sector booms, the boss of Pluto TV, one of the leaders in the field told the Cannes audience.

FAST discussions and presentations are the staple of the TV conference and festival circuit and the Marché Du Film put the subject on the film industry’s agenda with a dedicated session, moderated by Deadline. It was opened by Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Research Director at analyst house Omdia. It then broke into a conversation with Olivier Jollet, International General Manager of Paramount-owned Pluto TV.

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Rua Aguete shared new forecasts showing that global FAST ad revenues will top $6 billion this year and surpass $10 billion by 2028. Movie channels are the third biggest FAST category in the U.S., which is by some distance the biggest FAST market globally, she added. Paramount-owned Pluto TV one of the market leaders and Rua Aguete said six of Pluto TV’s top ten channels were movie offerings and cited Plum Research data that revealed film accounts for a whopping 43% of all viewing on the service.

Jollet used his Cannes moment to announce the launch of a German channel created with film recommendation site Moviepilot. The channel will be programmed with local and international films recommended by experts and fans. Rolling out in July, the launch line-up includes The Hours, Cloverfield, The Lookout and classics such as La Vita è Bella.

The Pluto topper also broke out the business model for the producers and content owners in the room – by and large it’s a revenue share. That’s a set-up content folks are often wary about. When quizzed about that Jollet unpacked the ad sales numbers. “In 2021 after only seven years after the founding of the company, we managed to become a billion-dollar advertising [revenue] business,” he said. “It was only $70 million when the company was acquired in 2019. When you think about that, and when you give 50% back to the licensers, that’s a lot of money back to the creators.”

Pluto launched in 2014 and has been owned by Paramount since 2019. Jollet set out the strategy for getting films for his movie channels.

“Getting fresh content, fresh movies into our portfolio is part of our mission… finding a new ways to get them, and shorter windows between VOD an FAST is the new world. It no longer needs to take two or three years for something to be available for free. And that’s going to, in the end, help [film] funding. If you take the full value chain of a movie, at some point of time FAST is going to bring a lot of revenue.”

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