FAST Channels change broadcast landscape – A report, Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV: Why More Advertisers (and Consumers) Are Going F.A.S.T., from Comcast Advertising, the advertising division of Comcast Cable, highlights the rise of Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) and its value to advertisers today as a complement to traditional TV and streaming advertising plans.
As one of the newest forms of OTT TV, FAST provides consumers with streaming services that also feature linear-style channels, encouraging a lean-back experience and content discovery that mimics traditional TV viewing.
According to the report, FAST penetration among households has more than doubled year over year. Currently, six out of 10 households who have connected TVs are using a FAST service exclusively or in addition to other services – getting a TV-like viewing experience without the costs or logins required for linear TV or paid streaming.
“FAST is a new and engaging way for consumers to watch and discover premium content in an environment that mimics linear TV,” said James Rooke, President, of Comcast Advertising. “And because FAST services are easy and free to access without signing up, it’s becoming a valuable way for advertisers to reach audiences – especially cord cutters. While FAST Playout channels do not replace linear TV or other streaming advertising, they certainly act as a valuable complement; the strongest media plans combine FAST and streaming with traditional TV in order to maximize reach and efficiency.”
The report looks at new trends from FAST provider XUMO and reveals that the average XUMO user spends about 104 minutes within the platform once they have entered. Many consumers may be landing on FAST channels without even realizing it, as many are programmed directly into the channel guide by TV manufacturers. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of XUMO users are cord cutters, relying on XUMO as a complement to SVoD services.
According to the report, advertisers and programmers alike are seeing the value of FAST services nowadays. According to Horizon Media, the FAST industry has grown exponentially and overlaps quite a bit now with what traditional TV has to offer in terms of both content and audience. “Advertising on FAST allows us to reach our targeted audience and is a valuable complement to our TV budget.”
Amanda Garcia, Senior Director of Partnerships at Paramount+, adds: “As customers find more ways to watch the content they love across a mix of services, FAST channels have become a key part of our media mix for acquisition and awareness, as well as targeted campaigns to super-serve key audiences.”