Free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) is growing in popularity in the United States. This is underscored by the fact that more than half of U.S. TV viewers watched FAST services in 2022.
If you’re a content distributor, a FAST channel provides an opportunity to target more customers with your videos. If you’re not already leveraging FAST channels, you’re leaving money on the table. If you are taking advantage of FAST channels, this blog will help you boost your return on investment (ROI).
First and foremost, FAST channels represent a lucrative investment simply because of their popularity. This is highlighted by the fact that nonpaid streaming services accounted for about 32 percent of the average number of services in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 26 percent in the fourth quarter.
Content consumers like FAST channels because they provide high-quality content without the need to commit to a monthly subscription. For this reason, consumers are more open and reciprocal to the advertisements they’re served across smart and connected TV (CTV) platforms.
Moreover, FAST channels allow content distributors to create tailored channel offerings that appeal to a wide range of consumers. Such personalization helps drive engagement, which is why FAST channels have experienced significant growth.
This presents a lucrative opportunity for both content distributors and advertisers alike. The former get paid depending on the number of ad impressions served up to content consumers. And the fact the ads can also be personalized to appeal to the consumer means the short ad breaks they experience do not detract too much from their viewing experience.
Because FAST channel revenue is all about ad impressions, it’s important to maximize your earning potential. This can be done in a number of ways.
Any decent playout software will boast industry-leading ad monetization capabilities to maximize your FAST channel ROI.
Zype’s Playout software, for example, features the following advertising features:
Zype’s partnership with TripleLift enables customers to serve up unique, non-disruptive, integrated CTV advertising experiences. By allowing brand assets to be inserted directly into television programs during the post-production process, ads can be added days, months, or even years after the show’s filming is finished.
With Zype’s Playout, you can gather data from your viewers and avoid dependencies and restrictions around third-party data collection. You can then leverage the insights you obtain to make data-driven decisions about what, where, and when content performs best.
By using Zype’s advanced automatic programming interface (API) tools, you can virtually automate the management of your FAST channel. Linear channel programming can be configured in advance, and custom programming workflows mean your FAST channel can operate with minimal intervention from you.
Because FAST channels can be customized and tailored to appeal to specific viewer preferences, effectively marketing them becomes a lot easier. For example, if you had a FAST channel that focused specifically on a particular genre—such as black-and-white horror—you could market it with targeted advertising on social media, in relevant publications, and online forums. This kind of targeted marketing can be effective, as the FAST channel you promote will inevitably appeal to the people you put it in front of.
If you’re a content distributor, getting your first FAST channel up and running might seem like a tricky task at first. The good news is that you don’t need to go it alone. By partnering with a platform like Zype, you can bolster your FAST strategy and deliver to popular video distribution platforms.
If you want to learn more about how to capitalize on this emerging market, download our free white paper, Into the FAST Lane: 5 Essential Tactics for Starting a FAST Channel.