In the digital video context, FAST stands for Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV and refers to a service that provides consumers with the TV-like watching experience of linear and on-demand channels on Smart TVs and similar devices.
Some of the most prominent FAST services on the current market include Viacom’s Pluto TV, IMDb TV by Amazon, Roku Channel by Roku, XUMO and more.
FAST vs. AVOD
The basic difference between FAST and AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) services is that the former type of companies is mostly focusing on providing licensed third-party content for people’s streaming, usually wrapped up as a TV-channel-like offering.
FAST Monetization Models
While some FAST companies are offering subscription options to viewers, most of them imply service provision free of charge, without any subscription required. Therefore, their most common monetization model is advertising, with branded content offerings being somewhat the source of incremental revenue.
The integration of video ads in content streams is made possible through dynamic ad insertion, with the creative selection being usually based on viewers’ streaming behavior/preferences. However, the scope of available targeting capabilities often includes those by TV channel, content type and genre/mood, too.
While the concept of FAST isn’t new, the free ad-supported streaming TV niche has been growing more competitive in recent years, much due to the continuously increasing number of cord-cutters both in the U.S, and the European market.
In addition, one of the accelerating trends in the relative market segment is its gradual consolidation. This clearly aligns with the similar trends, tracked both in the CTV niche, and across the digital video advertising landscape in a whole.