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  • Lara Guerard

Living in the FAST lane

In the ever-expanding Streaming Realm, how can FAST channels help Media Companies' quest to grow and engage audiences?

What is FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV)?

FAST channels are a type of streaming service that offers free content to viewers supported by advertising. Peacock Free, PlutoTV, Roku Channel, SamsungTV Plus, XUMO are just a few examples. These channels operate by providing a curated selection of TV shows, movies, and other video content that users can access without a subscription fee. Instead, revenue is generated through advertisements that are inserted into the content, similar to traditional broadcast television. FAST channels work by partnering with media companies and content providers to offer their programming on the platform. They typically offer a mix of licensed content and original programming, spanning various genres and interests. Viewers can access these channels through dedicated streaming apps or platforms that aggregate multiple FAST channels.

How do FAST channels make money?

The business model of FAST channels relies on attracting a large audience and delivering targeted advertisements to generate revenue. Advertisers benefit from the wide reach and engaged viewership these channels offer. By combining free access to content with advertising, FAST channels aim to provide an alternative streaming option for viewers who prefer not to pay for subscription-based service.

Personalization in the FAST lane.

Some platforms may offer limited personalizations options such as allowing users to create accounts on the FAST platform, in turn allowing them to customize their preferences, save their favorite shows, and receive personalized recommendations based on their viewing history. Some platforms may offer Content Recommendations by analyzing a user's viewing habits and preferences, the FAST platform can suggest relevant content that aligns with their interests. These recommendations can be based on factors such as genre, actors, directors, or previously watched shows. Users may also can create personalized watchlists where they can save shows and movies they want to watch later. This feature allows them to easily access their preferred content without having to search for it again. Allowing users to rate and review the content they watch, providing feedback and influencing future recommendations helps the platform better understand user preferences and tailor suggestions accordingly. While ads are an integral part of the FAST model, some platforms may allow users to specify their ad preferences. This can include selecting the types of ads they prefer or indicating their interests to receive more relevant advertisements. With the above in place, limited personalization can mature to hyper personalization. Unlike traditional linear broadcast, FAST channels can look at tailoring what users see on their programming view.

Ensuing a Unique electronic programming guide and a unique set of content to watch is presented to the user so there is a channel just for that user, made up of VOD assets assembled into a linear play out opportunity that reflects the users real preferences. The user then has a likelihood that the channel they want to watch has content that aligns well to them.

Additionally the programming guide itself is optimized based on preferences and the content they like which can be sorted differently if they want to personalize it, or by default shows up in a way that's unique for them. Addition channels maybe added to the video on demand assets and available versions of a particular channel can also be optimized for them. For example, if they have a preference of a food related network and like watching competition programs versus a celebrity chef program, a featured program on that guide can be hyper personalized to those food competition shows. Different user profiles may have a completely different set of programming and preferences, and a different set of Preferred channels.

Why is it important?

By bringing in a level of user personalization and preferences, it creates a compelling reason to log in and a better experience for the viewer, and it also helps to deliver a personalized viewing experience within the Advertisement. Next, let's explore how FAST channels using hyper personalization strategies, will benefit from increased adverseness.

Turbo charge your Ad viewing experiences.

In the advertising space, FAST channels have the opportunity to bring personalization and unique experience to the user. Unlike traditional Broadcast, Fast Channels may want to minimize the disruption to the user by placing fewer ads that interrupt the service, and instead place ads that allow the content to continue to play so the user can to continue to watch without disrupting the experience. In the midst of Live Events, for example you're not always able to put in ad breaks in advance, so with FAST Channels you can take the opportunity to show client side ads instead and still meet ad commitments without breaking the experience. Virtual product placements are also another great way FAST channels can deliver personalized experiences within their business model. It can provide additional revenue streams by integrating branded products or advertisements seamlessly into the content, platforms can generate income through sponsorships or product placement deals. As FAST channels mature to hyper personalization, it can enhance the user experience as a non-intrusive ad, avoiding disruptive ad breaks.

This enhances the overall user experience by maintaining the flow of the content and reducing interruptions. With targeted Advertising, platforms have access to user data and viewing preferences we discussed earlier. This allows them to deliver targeted advertisements.

Virtual product placement can be customized based on viewer demographics, interests, and viewing history, making the advertising more relevant and effective. Virtual Ad Placement is also flexibility and adaptable. Platforms have the flexibility to update and replace product placements dynamically. This means they can adjust and optimize campaigns in real-time based on audience response and advertiser needs. It also means that by integrating branded products into the content, virtual product placement offers brands a unique opportunity for exposure. The placements can be seamlessly woven into the storyline or context, leading to more natural and authentic brand integration that resonates with viewers, achieving a better overall viewer experience. Virtual product placement is a cost-effective marketing strategy for brands, especially those with limited advertising budgets. It offers a platform to reach a large audience without the high costs associated with traditional advertising channels.

Surging Ahead with Tailored Experiences in the FAST Lane

We have covered how FAST channels can use various personalization strategies for both viewer platform experience and advertisements, but to truly deliver a unique, HYPER PERSONALIZED experience, that ultimately focus on quality of the end to end experience, FAST channels can implement several strategies to personalize their marketing campaigns and effectively acquire, engage, and retain viewers. By harnessing viewer data and insights, these channels can tailor their approach to individual preferences and interests. Through data-driven audience segmentation, they can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with specific viewer demographics and viewing habits and by delivering personalized content recommendations based on viewers' interests and previous consumption patterns, FAST channels can provide a curated viewing experience that keeps viewers engaged and encourages further exploration to deliver personalized content suggestions, exclusive offers, and updates, fostering a sense of connection and loyalty.

Looking ahead, some may even introduce interactive and gamified experiences within the channel to create opportunities for active viewer participation, allowing them to engage directly with the content. Implementing loyalty programs, channels can reward viewers for their engagement and incentivize continued usage. Active engagement on social media platforms enables channels to build a community, respond to viewer comments, and share behind-the-scenes content. Encouraging user-generated content further strengthens viewer engagement and fosters a sense of belonging. Regular surveys and feedback collection allow channels to understand viewer preferences, solicit input, and make improvements based on their feedback.

By personalizing their marketing campaigns, FAST channels can effectively attract, engage, and retain viewers, creating a loyal and satisfied audience base.

Crossing the Finish Line: Accelerating Success with Personalized Experiences on FAST Channels.

Implementing a hyper personalized platform and marketing strategy, Media Companies and OEMs can take advantage of FAST channels to capture their audiences attention, improve the quality of their viewers experience, grow audience LTV and generate advertisement revenue.

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