Arda Tasci
Co-Founder & CTO
April 3, 2023
min read

Just as Spotify disrupted the traditional music industry by offering a more convenient and personalized way to access music, FAST has the potential to disrupt the traditional TV and advertising industry by offering a more streamlined and data-driven way to consume and deliver legitimate content. With the increased availability and accessibility of legitimate content through FAST-enabled services, it may become less attractive for consumers to seek out illegal streams like IPTV.

Free Ad-supported Television (FAST) is a new model of television that is becoming increasingly popular among viewers who want to watch live and on-demand content without having to pay for a cable package or streaming service.

FAST channels work by streaming ad-supported content from broadcast networks and other content providers, making them completely free to the viewer. This system is built on licensing existing shows and movies which are monetized through ads. To viewers, FAST channels are almost indistinguishable from traditional linear TV, but instead of being broadcast, all the content is streamed.

This article provides an in-depth analysis of how FAST can impact different players in the media industry, including marketers, content owners, and traditional broadcasters.

New Opportunities for Marketers

One of the key advantages of FAST for marketers is the opportunity to reach a large audience at a low cost. With the increasing popularity of ad-supported streaming TV, more and more advertisers are turning to this medium to reach their target audiences. In the US, FAST ad revenues are worth $4bn in 2022, with this projected to hit $9bn by 2026. This growth in ad revenue is due to the vast landscape of more than 1,400 channels across 22 networks, serving audiences through platforms such as Pluto TV, Xumo, Tubi, Roku, Samsung TV Plus, and Amazon’s Freevee.

FAST channels are often dedicated to specific niches, such as cooking, crime, or sci-fi, and are also frequently dedicated to re-runs of popular shows. This allows advertisers to target specific demographics, and align their ads with relevant content. Advertising is bought via programmatic auctions rather than pre-buys, and is arranged with the channel operators using the same ad-buying tools that are used online.

Another benefit of FAST is the opportunity for contextual advertising, where relevant brands are aligned with suitable niches. This method of advertising has been found to be highly effective, as it allows advertisers to target specific audiences who are interested in their products or services.

In conclusion, FAST is a growing opportunity for marketers to reach a large and engaged audience, at a low cost. The rise of ad-supported streaming TV is revolutionizing the way we watch television, and advertisers who embrace this new medium are likely to benefit from its many advantages.

FAST empowers content producers to reach wider audiences with greater efficiency.

For content producers, FAST presents a significant opportunity to reach a larger audience and generate revenue from their content. With the platform's ability to aggregate content from multiple sources, producers can showcase their content to a wider audience without the need for expensive marketing campaigns or distribution deals.

FAST also allows content producers to monetize their content through advertising revenue. With the platform's advanced targeting capabilities, producers can reach the right audience with the right ads, ensuring a higher click-through rate and greater return on investment.

Furthermore, FAST provides producers with valuable insights into audience behavior and preferences. By analyzing user data, producers can gain insights into what content is most popular, what topics are trending, and how audiences are interacting with their content. This information can be used to optimize content creation and distribution strategies, ensuring that producers are delivering the content that their audience wants to see.

Traditional broadcasters beware: FAST is here to disrupt your industry.

Source: Mediapost

FAST can be seen as a potential threat to traditional broadcasters in several ways. First, it offers a new way for viewers to access video content without the need for a cable or satellite subscription, which could lead to cord-cutting and a decrease in traditional TV viewership. This could have a significant impact on advertising revenue for traditional broadcasters, as advertisers may shift their ad spending on FAST platforms.

Secondly, FAST platforms like PLUTO and XUMO can potentially take control of advertising inventory and data, which could limit the traditional broadcasters' ability to monetize their content. In other words, traditional broadcasters may not be able to sell advertising space on their channels directly to advertisers, but may instead have to work with the FAST platforms, which could lead to decreased revenue and control.

Lastly, FAST platforms could potentially offer a wider range of content options, which could lead to increased competition for traditional broadcasters. As more viewers shift to FAST platforms, traditional broadcasters may struggle to compete with the diverse range of content available on these platforms.

Despite these potential threats, traditional broadcasters may also have the opportunity to partner with FAST platforms and reach new audiences through these channels. It's possible that by working together, traditional broadcasters and FAST platforms can create a new ecosystem that benefits both parties.

What is next ?

It is difficult to make accurate predictions about the future of technology, but based on the current pace of innovation and investment in the field of AI and big data, it is likely that we will see further advancements in FAST technology in the coming years. As more companies and industries adopt FAST technology, it may become more widespread and accessible, leading to new use cases and applications. Additionally, as the technology evolves, we may see improvements in its capabilities and accuracy, which could further enhance its potential for the players in the media industry.

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