LA FAST 2023: How to build a FAST business, optimize your advertising strategy and prepare for the future

By - October 4, 2023

Did you miss the Amagi LA FAST 2023 conference? No worries – we’ve got you covered. If you want to learn more about the current and future state of Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST), we’re sharing key highlights, trends, business insights, and more from our day-hosting content owners, creators, platforms, and advertisers

Here's what you need to know ⬇️

Building a scalable FAST business

  • From the start
      • Leverage viewers’ behavior patterns to find success
      • Make content accessible, organized, and searchable
      • Make advertising part of the user experience
  • Distribution Insights: If something is worthy of exclusivity [and makes sense strategically], that’s OK, but most content should be everywhere to maximize scale and reach. – Kevin McGurn, President, Sales & Distribution, Vevo
  • Foster collaboration
    • Important to work in a business model that works for each platform 
    • Strategic partnerships for platforms are key to differentiation
    • Secret to Roku’s success is platform leverage? A 1:1 relationship with the customer –Jennifer Vaux, Vice President of Content Acquisition & Programming, Roku

I appreciate how partners are leaning into FAST. FAST is not a dumping ground … it’s a place where people are coming … it’s content they love. -Jennifer Vaux, VP, Roku

  • Viewer retention and engagement
    • Guarantee a good customer experience
    • Convenience: FAST is accessible, additive, and expands audience
    • Shoulder programming provides more room for features than Pay TV 
      • “For us, shoulder programming has to be premium. It’s critical for us. The viewer knows this is a special channel being delivered to them, not just a playlist.” –Andy Reif, SVP of Programming and International, The Tennis Channel


Will FAST deliver on CTV advertising? 

  • Key takeaways 
    • FAST advertising can’t be your whole strategy 
      • It’s a small fragment of the ad economy on CTV
      • Think holistically
      • Impressions and scale are key
    • Action is the new CPM – and it’s different for every customer
      • It could be something as simple as watching a show trailer
    • When you buy streaming, you are buying audiences
    • FAST is not just dependent on originals but on reality, licensed content, and brand-safe content. And it’s cheaper.
    • FAST is an opportunity for live events, especially for smaller communities + sports – a chance to cash in from a quieter brand perspective
  • The future of ad tech
    • How we buy is based on ad tech
    • Is Shoppable TV coming? Amazon Prime Video will air a Black Friday NFL game, connecting the viewer experience with their commerce platform


What's ahead for FAST?

  • Key takeaway: Premium original content, including sports
  • How do we accelerate the journey?
    • Appointment viewing for live and premium content
    • Curation – but without restriction to viewers
    • Linear for discovery - but let viewers seamlessly switch to other options if they want
    • Get the viewer experience right
      • Re-imagine ad formats
        • Solve slate issues

Want to learn more about FAST? ➡️ Visit our FAST Center

  • The future for content providers
    • High-quality content | Selective appointment viewing | Rich discoverability
    • EPG hygiene needs to improve
    • Higher tech expectations for content
        • “If [fans] are tuning in [to a sporting event], they want a high-quality experience. A college football game needs [at least] 10 cameras and high-level graphics. People expect this kind of level.” – Ken Kerschbaumer, Co-Executive Director, Sports Video Group

READ: FAST 101: A content owner's guide to Free Ad-supported Streaming TV

  • The future for FAST services
    • Multi-layered personalization
        • Personalize channel lineup
        • Viewer-focused experienced
        • Seamless mechanisms
    • Agility in software upgrades - need to be faster and better

WATCH: Catch up on all of our panels from LA FAST

  • The future for advertisers
    • Rich ad formats 
    • Aggregated reach
        • Mechanisms for data to give to content platforms to target better
    • Transparency and measurement
  • What’s the next frontier of FAST?
    • Jennifer Vaux: “I appreciate how partners are leaning into FAST. FAST is not a dumping ground … it’s a place where people are coming … it’s content they love.”
    • Katherine Pond: “The space is becoming more and more crowded, forcing everyone to up their game, which is great for consumers.”

Miss out on this year’s LA FAST conference? Pre-register for LA FAST 2024 here.

Want to learn more? Sign up for Amagi Consulting Services.