How DSPs in FAST are Hindering the Future of Free TV

FAST (Free Ad-Supported TV) channels are linear channels that stream free content with ads, similar to traditional TV. FAST channels are becoming more popular among cord-cutters and cord-nevers, who are looking for alternative and diverse content options. However, FAST channels are also facing a major challenge from the programmatic ad trading ecosystem, which involves multiple intermediaries and platforms, such as demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs), ad exchanges, and data management platforms (DMPs).

DSPs are platforms that allow advertisers to buy digital ad spaces in real-time using data and technolog. DSPs are supposed to help advertisers find the best ad spaces for their campaigns, and to optimize their ad performance and efficiency. However, DSPs are also taking a high percentage of the ad revenue from the FAST channels, leaving them with a low share of the advertiser’s dollar and an unsustainable business model.

According to a recent report by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), only 51% of the advertiser’s dollar reaches the publisher, while the rest is eaten up by the programmatic ad trading “tech tax”. This means that FAST channels and FAST platforms only receive only a fraction of what the advertiser paid at the front of the queue, making it hard for them to sustain and grow their businesses.

Moreover, some FAST channels are incurring middlemen costs of several parties, as they have to deal with multiple DSPs, SSPs, ad exchanges, and DMPs, each taking an addfitional cut of the ad revenue. This adds more complexity and opacity to the ad trading process, and reduces the transparency and accountability of the ad performance and revenue.

This situation is hindering the future of TV, as it discourages FAST channels from investing in quality and original content, and from providing a better user experience for the viewers. It also limits the innovation and competition in the streaming TV industry, as it creates a barrier for entry and growth for new and independent FAST channels.

Therefore, FAST channels need to find ways to overcome the programmatic ad trading inefficiencies and increase their share of the ad revenue. Some possible solutions include using header bidding, which allows publishers to simultaneously offer their inventory to multiple ad exchanges and increase competition and prices, or Platforms and Channels creating their own direct deals with advertisers and agencies, bypassing the intermediaries and platforms.

Alternatively, FAST channels can also use Kapang, a leading CTV platform for FAST channels and subscription package broadcasters, which offers a new and improved programmatic ad trading solution, called View TV Cloud, which reduces the number of intermediaries and platforms involved in the ad trade, and increases the transparency and efficiency of the process. View TV Cloud ensures that FAST channels get a higher share of the ad revenue, typically between 65% and 75%, and that they have full control and ownership of their inventory and data.

The Future of FAST is efficency and the efficency is here and now with View TV Cloud.

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