What is FAST and Why Your Clients Should Be Advertising There

BY Rachel Cagle
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Good news for TV advertisers: Many consumers value savings over ad-​free TV. Seems like worries over inflation will continue past the 2022 holiday season and have many TV watchers tuning in to FAST channels.

What is FAST and Why Your Clients Should Be Advertising There

The Trend Toward Ad-​Supported TV Channels

According to Hub’s 2022 TV Advertising: Fact vs Fiction report, 56% of consumers who watch at least one hour of TV per week say that they would “choose an ad-​supported platform if it saved them $4-$5 per month.” And what’s better than free? Cue FAST channels.

FAST stands for “Free Ad-​supported Streaming TV.” According to a recent article by NextTV, 55% of TV watchers in the U.S. use at least one free, ad-​supported TV streaming service now. That’s a 9% increase over Q4 2021 (just nine months ago!). So, if your client has been avoiding putting their ads on FAST channels because they don’t think people will tolerate the ads, it’s time to prove them wrong!

Why Consumers are Turning Toward FAST Channels

Let’s take a look at why consumers consider ad-​free TV really quickly. According to Hub, the top three reasons consumers have signed up for ad-​free TV services within the last six months include:

  • Value: 42% of ad-​free TV customers agree
  • Variety of Exclusive Shows and Movies: 41%
  • Selection: 38%

Value and selection aren’t ad-​free TV exclusive. Again, FAST channels offer fantastic value: TV and movies for free. And just because FAST is supported by ads doesn’t mean that they don’t have an extensive selection of content.

So, when choosing the FAST channels to place your client’s TV ads on, content is key. According to Hub, 34% of consumers say that if they are really interested in a show or movie, they don’t care if they have to watch some ads to finish it. Another 50% say that they “can tolerate a certain number of ads, but if there’s too many, I’ll go elsewhere.” Only 17% of consumers say that they won’t tolerate any ads at all when watching TV.

How Many Ads is Too Many?

NextTV reports that the number of ads per show that viewers believe is the most reasonable is five or fewer. The best length of TV ads is less than 30 seconds (50% of viewers agree). However, there are also a few other reasonable lengths:

  • 30-​Second TV Ads: 49% of viewers find these reasonable
  • 1‑Minute Ads: 44% of viewers agree that this length is reasonable

But make sure your client doesn’t make their ads any longer than that. Few TV watchers think that ads over a minute long are reasonable to ask viewers to sit through.

How to Create the Best Ads for FAST Channels

Hub reports that, like most consumers, FAST watchers prefer personalized ads. 69% of consumers say that they’re more likely to remember the ads they’ve seen if the advertised products seem to be targeted to them. But how can you know what FAST viewers are in the market for?

AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel has the answer. On the FAST TV Viewers profile, you can see what these consumers are planning on buying within the next year in categories such as:

  • Home
  • Automotive
  • Fashion and Personal Care
  • Travel and Leisure
  • Financial and Professional Services
  • Other

And if your client is planning on including FAST ads as a part of an omni-​channel marketing strategy, they can also look at the FAST TV Viewers profile to see which types of advertisements these consumers took action because of within the last year. Bonus: You can also discover what types of TV content they love and watch the most of.

Photo by Catherine Heath