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Lexie Knauer

By Lexie Knauer

Senior Product Marketing Manager at Brightcove

Live Linear Cloud Playout: The Future of Free Ad Supported TV (FAST)


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While almost everyone you know subscribes to some kind of streaming service these days (the average person subscribes to 4-6 apps), there’s something to be said for just sinking into the couch, turning on the TV, and enjoying what’s on. This explains the huge surge in FAST (free, ad-supported streaming TV) as it presents new opportunities for viewers, advertisers, broadcasters and content providers.

Brightcove’s Virtual Panel Discussion, “How Live Linear Cloud Playout Is Changing The Game,” explored the many advantages of FAST and what the future holds for it.

  • Rebeca Avery, Head of Content Operations at Local Now
  • Damian Pelliccione, CEO and co-founder of Revry
  • Madhu Somasundaram, Director of Content Management at VIZIO

Here are some of the topics our panelists covered to help you get the most from ad supported streaming services.


This is the way we’ve all been watching TV, and even as the technology evolves, the behavior is simply ingrained in all of us. FAST has universal appeal for multiple reasons.

  • Not everyone can afford even just one subscription, so there's an impact to having free ad-supported content
  • Viewers avoid the endless searching and questions of “what are we going to watch?”
  • With the rising popularity of smart TVs, just connect to WiFi and get 100+ free channels
  • It offers entire genres of content, from movies to multi-lingual to live sports and music


More and more advertisers are increasing their digital budgets, realizing the efficiency and reach they gain with ad-supported streaming.

  • Audiences will show loyalty to a channel, returning again and again as a daily habit
  • Audiences can be targeted and monetized, based on content they are choosing
  • Advertisers have options with overlays, lower thirds, dynamic insertions and more
  • The unique and customized ad experience improves viewing for consumers
  • FAST easily integrates with ad tech, making it a more seamless experience


FAST enables media properties and brands to create, curate and deliver content that engages audiences in a number of different ways.

  • It offers the opportunity to form a content partnership, getting input from a content partner and exploring the best way to program that for the audience
  • Gather content on a certain subject matter from several specialist providers, and then package it together in a unique way
  • Partners may offer their own individual assets which can be curated and packaged
  • Single series channels offer binge-like “background” experiences that many viewers enjoy


The targeted, intentional approach to creating fast channels offers an unparalleled ability to understand your audience and have clear insights into their viewing behaviors.

  • Understanding the demographics of partners will inform your programming decisions
  • Smart TV vs mobile app can offer two very different audiences
  • Technology such as automated content recognition offers valuable viewer insights
  • See how your content performs compared to other viewing models such as SVOD
  • It’s not about just creating a feed or playing movies randomly--it’s about having a plan and a purpose

As ad-supported streaming continues to evolve and standardize, best practices and strategies will evolve as well, raising this viewing approach to its very own art form as it delivers fresh, engaging content to a growing audience. Brightcove’s robust video platform is a key driver of this momentum and we are beyond excited about the future of FAST.

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