As part of our Special Report on the FASTs (free ad-supported streaming TV services), we sat down (via Zoom) with Mike O’Donnell, Chief Revenue Office of VIZIO’s platform business to discuss why the FASTs are suddenly so popular and how VIZIO plans to improve the FAST ad experience.
TL;DR: Cord cutting and cord shaving are on the rise and so more people are turning to streaming, and controlling frequency is the key to a superior ad experience.
To read the full interview with O’Donnell and other industry leaders, and to see what we’re predicting for the FASTs in terms of advertising, content and user experience, download the report today.
Q: What has contributed to the accelerated adoption of FASTs?
Mike O’Donnell: One is the acceleration of cord cutting – cord cutting and core shaving – as more and more consumers are cutting the cord, as they’re spending more time in our SmartCast UI, or our SmartCast user experience, they have the ability to search and discover new content. What consumers are finding and seeing, by the way, not just in the past two to three years, just over the past six months with everything going on we’ve seen over 125% increase in user engagement on the SmartCast platform. So as consumers go in there looking for what I would say, historically, is content that they would subscribe to, like your Netflix’s or your Amazon’s, they can recognize, and we can show them that there’s other ad supported or free content available.
Q: How will VIZIO provide a better addressable experience across linear and streaming?
Mike O’Donnell: We’re rolling out a product tied to universal frequency. Because we have the ability to recognize what’s happening on linear and what’s happening in a streaming environment, we can manage that frequency, and we can control frequency that’s running on our platform. Where that gets really interesting is when we start marrying that with OAR and the OAR initiative and linear addressable opportunities because we can start looking at addressable holistically. And we can work with networks like a Fox and a Tubi, or an NBC at a Peacock where they can help manage a universal frequency, whether it runs in a linear environment or streaming environment and manage that total audience that they’re reaching.