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Discoverability, Demand, and Data: Key Takeaways from Digital TV Europe’s Industry Survey

Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) is on the rise. Established streamers and content publishers are entering the FAST space in droves, and for good reason: amid economic hard times, more viewers are seeking cheaper (or free) alternatives when it comes to entertainment. At the same time, advertisers are allocating heftier budgets towards connected TV as viewers continue to make the shift from traditional and pay TV to streaming. CTV ad spending in the US alone is expected to reach more than $25 billion in 2023.

In the eighth edition of Digital TV Europe’s Industry Survey, more than 130 executives across the digital TV landscape weighed in on the key challenges and opportunities they face within FAST today. Let’s dive into the top takeaways.

Key insight #1: Discoverability is the streaming industry’s top challenge

While the expansion of FAST – and the global streaming market in general – has created tremendous new growth opportunities for publishers and streamers, the space is undeniably getting crowded!

FAST channel counts are now climbing past 350, while an unparalleled number of advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) and subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming apps are entering the market. With more premium video content being introduced every month, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for streamers and publishers to connect with the right viewers who are likely to become loyal fans.

of respondents believe that ensuring content is visible and discoverable is a “very significant challenge”

Digital TV Europe’s survey found that 58% of respondents believe that ensuring content is visible and discoverable is a “very significant challenge” – the highest-rated obstacle among a list of options given to respondents. With new FAST, SVOD, and AVOD services launching regularly – coupled with competition from other sources of digital content like YouTube and TikTok – attracting and retaining the right viewers is proving difficult.

Key insight #2: Achieving high fill rates and CPMs are key indicators of success in FAST

As more advertising dollars shift to streaming, effective monetization is becoming a key priority for FAST and AVOD streamers and publishers.

Survey respondents agree that achieving high fill rates (56%) and achieving strong CPMs – the cost of 1,000 viewers for an ad – (55%) are the top two highest priorities when it comes to advertising. This comes as no surprise with competition for demand skyrocketing as more supply (streaming content) enters the market.

And, beyond maximizing fill rates and CPMs, 44% of survey respondents also say finding a strong ad tech partner to help deliver demand for advertising is a high priority.

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Advertising within streaming, and addressable advertising in particular, is a highly complex part of building and operating a FAST or another type of streaming service, so finding the right technology partner is hugely valuable for content service providers.
Digital TV Europe,

Key insight #3: A reliable tech partner is essential

While content is king when it comes to successfully launching and marketing a FAST service, technology plays an outsized role in ensuring publishers’ and streamers’ success.

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents agree having a strong lead technology partner with support for hosting, scheduling, distributing, and monetizing programming is essential. Meanwhile, 52% believe advanced data reporting technology is “very important” for the future of FAST.

Data is becoming increasingly important for streamers and publishers to know they are not only reaching the right audiences, but also effectively retaining those viewers by continuously connecting them to the content they will love.

As the FAST market matures, connecting viewers to content they love, monetizing effectively, and finding the right technology partner will be key in growing your content. At Wurl, we’re building solutions across distribution, advertising, and performance marketing to help content publishers and streamers connect with audiences and monetize at a massive scale.

Dive into the key challenges and opportunities in FAST by registering for our upcoming webinar on May 10, where we’ll dissect more of the intriguing insights from Digital TV Europe’s Industry Survey.

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