How to drive effective monetization outcomes from FAST

By Amagi - April 3, 2024

Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) continues to make strides worldwide – our latest FAST report shows global ad impressions grew by 28% between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023 as more people preferred free streaming channels. We also learned that 9 out of 10 people don’t mind watching ads in exchange for free content. This is a win-win for advertisers, with FAST continuing to emerge as a promising ground for putting ad dollars to best use. At Amagi’s LA FAST conference, Lisa Herdman (SVP & Executive Director, RPA) and Evan Shapiro (Owner & Cartographer, ESHAP), along with Amagi's James Smith (SVP & GM, Global Ad Sales), discussed the best strategies for driving the most effective outcomes from FAST. 

We learned how evolving audience viewership habits call for personalized experiences, the metrics that define the growth of FAST, and more. Here are the highlights.

When you buy streaming, you are buying the audience


The FAST ecosystem keeps evolving, especially for advertisers. 

“Advertisers want to be on these FAST channels that are not dependent on glossy originals but are built on licensed programming like unscripted reality shows,” said Herdman.

Buying FAST is brand-safe and cheaper than other streaming models. It also offers the most extensive scale in terms of reach and engagement for advertisers — which means significant growth.  

READ: Our latest FAST report can be found here

What’s the best metric for FAST growth?


Determining a monetization equation or identifying a North Star for better revenue becomes crucial for launching and growing a FAST channel. 

“It’s trickier in the rapidly changing environment, particularly for programmers navigating platforms to reach consumers without knowing who they are,” said Shapiro.

That’s why controlling access to your audience is important – it helps you create effective strategies to generate revenue. 

Learn more: The emerging role of FAST in political advertising

Streaming is set to grow astronomically in the next five years — 180% in the U.S., 257% in the U.K., and 500% in Australia. By 2028, the total aggregate revenue is projected to reach $12–$13 billion. But this still pales in comparison to YouTube's current revenue of $30 billion. 

“FAST is a segment of the bigger video advertising economy … having a holistic strategy makes sense. The length of time spent on the channel could serve as a valuable metric, but the lack of control over this data poses yet another conundrum in the FAST ecosystem,” says Shapiro.

What is the business outcome of FAST, and how do we get there?


With personalization becoming a pivotal aspect of FAST, hyper-personalized ads that drive conversion will be significantly important for the growth of FAST. Personalized EPG and ads based on content watched will be commonplace. It works like this: if one viewer watches a show about cars and another watches one about skiing, relevant ads will likely have a higher chance of conversion. 

Apart from personalization, niche FAST channels, like educational and unscripted reality channels, are gaining popularity. In the coming days, these niches will continue to thrive, giving advertisers a promising avenue for realizing better ROIs.

To learn more about the most effective FAST monetization strategies, check out the full panel discussion

What’s next for you?