Vidaa debuts its own FAST hub for Hisense, Toshiba TVs

TVOS developer Vidaa has launched its own free ad-supported streaming TV hub Vidaa Free, which will be available on millions of U.S. connected TVs.

Vidaa’s FAST hub is currently live in the U.S., featuring live linear and VOD content. The company plans to expand Vidaa Free globally later this year and the service is now available on millions Vidaa-powered connected TVs in the U.S., including those manufactured by Hisense, Toshiba and more than a hundred additional TV brands. 

Vidaa Free runs on Vidaa’s proprietary online video platform, which leverages technology from video ad delivery provider Seachange. Vidaa teamed up with Seachange last year to integrate Seachange’s Xstream platform onto the Vidaa TVOS, allowing content owners and creators to more easily distribute their FAST channels on Vidaa.

Launched in 2019, Vidaa’s TVOS boasts over 200 content partner apps, including major streamers like Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ as well as FAST apps like Tubi, Pluto TV and Crackle. With the debut of Vidaa Free, Vidaa is furthering its role as an aggregator embedded in connected TVs.

“This marks a new era of video streaming experience on connected TVs,” stated Yaniv Gruenwald, chief operating officer at Vidaa USA. “With the platform jointly developed with SeaChange, Vidaa has full control and can seamlessly manage, curate, publish, and monetize video content."

SeaChange President Chris Klimmer added the launch of Vidaa Free falls in line with how connected TV video consumption is shifting from subscription-based models to more ad-supported content.

As Parks Associates’ Sarah Lee and Tam Williams noted in a recent column, more consumers are adopting ad-based services because they’re growing tired of “the plethora of options, associated costs, and pressure to choose that accompanies a subscription video-on-demand service.”

“As more premium content becomes available under advertising business models, smart TV operating system providers are becoming the primary gateway to publisher partnerships,” Klimmer said in a statement. “With the launch of Vidaa Free, consumers can easily discover and access some of the biggest series and movies from top publishers while content owners can monetize content through advertising on a global scale.”

A number of other smart TV makers and OEMs have their own FAST services, like Roku, Vizio, Samsung and LG. Some OEMs are expanding their FAST distribution beyond their respective TV sets.

LG, for instance, recently licensed its webOS streaming TV platform for third-party use. Samsung, which made a similar move with its open-sourced Tizen OS, is reportedly thinking of launching the Samsung TV Plus FAST service as a standalone app on other smart TVs.