FAST Channel Ad-fill – FAST, or Free Ad-Supported Television, is a streaming service that offers linear, passive and ad-supported programming that appeals to a large and diverse audience. FAST channels are similar to traditional TV channels, but they are delivered over the Internet through various platforms and devices.
FAST channels have seen tremendous growth in recent years, as viewers have tired of paying for multiple video streaming services. According to a report by LG Ads, 60 percent of U.S. households now watch FAST channels, which offer shorter and higher-quality ad breaks than cable or satellite TV.
However, FAST channels also face a unique challenge concerning their ad experiences: the presence of Slates. A Slate is a master ad that comes encoded in the stream and shown to viewers in case paid ads are not available to be shown for all or part of an ad break duration. Slates are usually static images or videos that display generic messages such as “We’ll be right back” or “More content coming up”.
Slates are a problem for both FAST channel operators and viewers. For FAST channel operators, Slates mean lost revenue opportunities, as they do not generate any ad impressions or revenue. For viewers, Slates mean poor user experience, as they interrupt the content flow, reduce the content quality, and lower content engagement.
Data from Amagi ANALYTICS indicates that the appearance of Slates could cause a user drop-off of up to 40%. with View TV Marketplace showing this to be above 30%
This means that FAST channel operators could lose one-fifth of their audience due to Slates. Moreover, Slates could also damage the brand reputation and credibility of FAST channel operators, as they could signal a lack of professionalism, reliability, and quality.
Therefore, FAST channel operators should avoid Slates as much as possible and aim to fill 100% of their advertising breaks with paid ads. This can be achieved by using various strategies and solutions, such as:
- Optimizing the ad inventory: FAST channel operators should optimize their ad inventory by using dynamic ad insertion (DAI), which allows them to insert ads into the content on the server side, rather than on the client side. This way, they can avoid the latency and compatibility issues that may arise from client-side ad insertion. They can also use programmatic ad buying, which allows them to sell their ad inventory in real-time through automated auctions. This way, they can increase their fill rates and maximize their revenue.
- Diversifying the ad sources: FAST channel operators should diversify their ad sources by using multiple ad networks, exchanges, and platforms to fill their ad breaks. This way, they can increase their chances of finding suitable and relevant ads for their content and audience. They can also use direct deals with advertisers, which allows them to negotiate the terms and conditions of their ad campaigns directly with the advertisers. This way, they can ensure the quality and consistency of their ads.
- Enhancing the ad quality: FAST channel operators should enhance the ad quality by using various tools and techniques to measure and improve their ad performance. They can use analytics tools to track and analyze their ad metrics, such as impressions, clicks, conversions, viewability, completion rates, etc. They can also use feedback tools to collect and respond to user comments and ratings on their ads. They can also use creative tools to design and produce high-quality ads that match their content and audience preferences.
- Improving the user experience: FAST channel operators should improve the user experience by using various methods to make their ads more engaging and less intrusive for their viewers. They can use contextual advertising, which allows them to deliver ads that are relevant and related to the content and theme of their channels. They can also use interactive advertising, which allows them to deliver ads that are engaging and immersive for their viewers, such as polls, quizzes, games, etc. They can also use personalized advertising, which allows them to deliver ads that are tailored and customized for their viewers, based on their demographics, preferences, behavior, and other criteria.
FAST channels are a promising opportunity for monetizing video content in the streaming era. However, FAST channels also face a unique challenge concerning their ad experiences: the presence of Slates. Slates are a problem for both FAST channel operators and viewers, as they mean lost revenue opportunities and poor user experience.
Therefore, FAST channel operators should avoid Slates as much as possible and aim to fill 100% of their advertising breaks with paid ads. This can be achieved by using various strategies and solutions, such as optimizing the ad inventory, diversifying the ad sources, enhancing the ad quality, and improving the user experience.
By doing so, FAST channel operators can create successful FAST channels that offer free and diverse content to their viewers, and generate revenue for themselves