Democratizing CTV Ad Buying


The current free, ad-supported streaming service (FAST) boom we are seeing in our industry is the result of the technology that powers these services becoming cheaper and easier to use. This has led to over 1,600 unique channels from name brands such as A+E and Fox to brand new publishers like Future Today and SportsGrid launching in the last few years, according to TBI.  

This rise in freely available content has led to 40% of US adults increasing their viewing time on FASTs during the past year, per CTV research firm Aluma Insights. Another reason for the rise of FAST viewership is the dramatic price inflation of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Max. Prices on average have increased by over 25% in 2023. This trend is expected to lead to a healthy 33% growth in FAST viewership by 2027, with over 115M viewers. 


While FAST audiences are growing at a record pace, a report by One Touch Intelligence puts ad fill rates for the growing FAST Channel market at a paltry 38%. The remaining ad opportunities are currently being allocated to PSAs or the dreaded ‘We will be right back’ promos that plague the industry. 

There are many reasons for this fill rate problem, but one thing is clear. The industry needs to expand and democratize the market for TV advertising. Historically,  500-600 advertisers dominated TV ad spend. In contrast, there are 9 million search and social advertisers, representing nearly $300 billion in ad spend a year just waiting for a viable way to buy TV. It’s critical we make ad buying simple to unlock this SMB spend on Streaming TV. 

Why should small businesses advertise on Streaming TV? 

The growth in niche FAST Channels facilitates powerful, context-specific advertising to meet advertiser’s needs. The proliferation of channels like the Bob Ross Channel will lead to millions of niche, context-specific advertisers effectively reaching their target customers. Imagine being an arts and crafts store or art gallery that could geo-target Bob Ross Channel viewers in your area. 

FAST has democratized television, allowing thousands of new channels to reach viewers with low operating costs. Straight-to-streaming ad managers will enable SMBs to buy ads on streaming TV with localized, targeted campaigns starting as low as $500. This was never possible before. It’s a game changer that will supercharge the new television. 

The key will be showing the brand value of your business being associated with premium content. Brands get value simply by being on TV with all the other major players. TV viewers are much more receptive to ads than in any other medium, and TV is an extremely effective top-of-funnel part of any advertising strategy. But from a practical standpoint, the FAST channel ecosystem has made it faster, cheaper, and more flexible for just about any business to advertise on TV. We ran a poll asking our users how many advertisers will be buying CTV by the end of the decade and 58% said over 1 Million. Stay tuned. 

We have big plans for Streaming TV.

Just wait til you see what we’re doing next.