A report from Xumo and Comcast Advertising identifies three immediate opportunities for FAST services to increase their impact with consumers: more personalisation, more FAST within hybrid programme guides that also contain broadcast, and more education.
Xumo is the joint streaming platform venture between the U.S. cable operators Comcast and Charter that combines devices and the Xumo Play FAST service. The company also provides technology and services to content makers and distributors to bring FAST channels to market, and to advertisers who want to market through them.
Its report, ‘The 2023 State of FAST’, sees hybrid programme guides as a major boost to content discovery. “Unlike other streaming options, FAST’s power lies in the fact that it provides a live-linear like experience. We are seeing this feature enhanced as companies [platform operators] merge over-the-top FAST channels alongside traditional cable programming in the channel line-up, making it even easier for users to discover and access the content.”
The second ‘next-steps’ boost for FAST, highlighted in the report, will be placing more focus on personalisation and the UX. “FAST services have a huge opportunity to increase their focus on the individual user and how they prefer to engage with content,” it says. “Giving users the most personalised experience will make it easier for them to engage with the content. Those services that prioritise this will be best positioned to attract audiences.”
As FAST grows, education among advertisers will become increasingly important, the report continues. “While there’s great appetite for FAST among both consumers and advertisers, the knowledge base is still lacking. Once this catches up, interest can be expected to grow.”
The ‘2023 State of FAST’ is the result of two research studies with insights firm CRG Global during August and September 2023. The first surveyed 4,000 U.S. adults, with qualitative interviews held among FAST users and non-users of FAST. The second surveyed 75 FAST advertisers and 75 non-FAST advertisers, with qualitative interviews held with FAST advertisers. Data insights from across Comcast Advertising and Xumo Play have also been used.