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Are you a FAST channel TV service provider looking for innovative ways to amplify your revenue and propel your business growth? If so, let’s discuss the advantages of adding direct-sold campaigns versus the challenges of relying solely on programmatic ad sales to monetize your content.

Programmatic ad sales involve leveraging automated platforms and algorithms to sell and deliver ads to your viewers. While this approach offers convenience and efficiency, it comes with its fair share of limitations:

Low CPMs: Programmatic ads often yield lower CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) compared to direct-sold ads, resulting in reduced earnings per ad impression.

High Operational Costs: Programmatic ad sales requires collaboration with multiple intermediaries such as ad exchanges, ad networks, and demand-side platforms (DSPs). These partnerships often come with fees and commissions, impacting your profit margins.

Limited Ad Inventory Control: Programmatic ad sales usually means less control over the ads displayed on your content, their timing, and presentation. Control over placements and frequency can also be a challenge.

High Energy Consumption: Programmatic ad sales involves a lot of “compute” across the many steps in the programmatic workflow, such as bidding, targeting, and verification. This process consumes a significant amount of energy and contributes to carbon emissions, making it less environmentally friendly than direct-sold ads.

The Evolution of FAST Channel Providers

Many FAST channel providers initially began as cloud-only streaming services. They relied heavily on programmatic advertising methods to start quickly with minimal ad tech software or staff. This approach made sense, especially without a dedicated sales team, advanced ad tech software, or specialized ad tech staff to manage ad placements.

For these early-stage providers, programmatic advertising was an efficient way to kickstart their operations, particularly since their viewership volumes likely couldn’t support the demands of direct advertisers or the associated costs.

Transition to Direct-Sold Campaigns

However, as FAST channel providers continue to grow and scale, they naturally become more attractive to advertisers. This shift opens opportunities to increase revenue by selling their most valuable ad inventory directly to advertisers. But how can they seamlessly integrate direct-sold campaigns into their existing FAST workflow while precisely placing these direct ads within channel ad pods?

The answer lies in SureFire, with its user-friendly interface that simplifies direct-sales campaigns and a video ad server offering broadcast-quality ad decisioning. SureFire enables precise ad placement within FAST channel ad pods, seamlessly integrating with the Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) software used by the provider.

Unlocking the Potential with SureFire Video Ad Server

What is SureFire Video Ad Server?

SureFire Video Ad Server is a robust and user-friendly ad server designed to empower FAST channel operators with simplified direct-sales and superior ad decisioning control. With SureFire Video Ad Server, you can:

  • Sell Ads Directly to Advertisers at Higher CPMs: Establish direct sales with advertisers, eliminating intermediaries. This allows you to set higher CPM rates, leading to increased revenue retention.
  • Reduce Operational Costs: SureFire’s new UI provides simplified direct-sales campaigns without the need to install and staff an entire ad tech stack. SureFire Video Ad Server handles everything, from campaign creation to real-time ad placement decisions for use with Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) solutions.
  • Gain Precise Ad Inventory Control: Regain control over which ads appear on your content, their timing, and format. Customize ad placements, frequencies, and formats to align with your content and audience.
  • Harmonize Direct and Programmatic Ad Sales: Enjoy the best of both worlds by leveraging SureFire for direct-sold campaigns while seamlessly redirecting remaining inventory to third-party programmatic solutions, such as Google Ad Manager. Alternatively, SureFire can sit alongside other demand sources ready to receive Ad requests that have been directed to it. Strike the perfect balance by choosing to fill unsold inventory with programmatic ads or allocating a percentage of your inventory to programmatic, all while maintaining control.
  • Extend Inventory Reach Across TV Platforms : As your direct-sold ad monetization grows, optionally connect SureFire to our industry-leading Landmark Sales platform for cross-platform ad management or integrate with other ad tech stacks using open APIs. Scale campaign sales and fulfillment across your entire audience and platforms to maximize revenue without fragmented workflows.
  • Leverage Amagi THUNDERSTORM Integration: Effortlessly integrate SureFire with Amagi THUNDERSTORM FAST channels for precise placement of direct-sold inventory. Create a comprehensive FAST ad management solution compatible with your existing programmatic setup, complete with data analytics for enhanced insights and monetization visibility.

How SureFire Video Ad Server Works

SureFire Video Ad Server is tailored for FAST channels with broadcast-quality ad placement control and is designed to be simple and intuitive, offering direct-sold ad campaign support. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

DAI Connection: Link SureFire Video Ad Server to your FAST channel DAI solution using a standard VAST protocol.

Campaign Creation: Generate ad campaigns on SureFire Video Ad Server by inputting details like advertiser name, budget, duration, placement rules, and creative assets.

Campaign Launch: Deploy your ad campaigns and witness precise ad placement control that seamlessly integrates into your FAST channels through DAI.

Enjoy Increased Revenue: Benefit from elevated revenue generated by direct-sold ads while effectively utilizing programmatic ads for any remaining inventory.

UI of the SureFire software application
SureFire video ad server 🔍
simplifies direct-sold ad campaigns for FAST channels

SureFire Video Ad Server stands out as a game-changing solution for FAST channel providers aiming to amplify revenue and business growth. Here’s why it’s the preferred choice:

  • Speed and Simplicity: Create and launch direct-sold ad campaigns in minutes. Manage and optimize campaigns effortlessly through the user-friendly SureFire Video Ad Server interface.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Run unlimited direct-sold ad campaigns without restrictions on advertisers, channels, or impressions. Adjust campaigns as needed based on feedback and results. 
  • Reliability and Quality: Trust SureFire Video Ad Server for smooth, error-free ad delivery while achieving broadcast and brand quality placement control. 
  • Innovation and Integration: Harness the strengths of both direct and programmatic ad sales, and seamlessly integrate with Amagi THUNDERSTORM FAST channels, while redirecting programmatic traffic to partners such as Google Ad Manager.

Getting Started with SureFire Video Ad Server

Don’t miss the opportunity to supercharge your FAST channel revenue with direct-sold ad campaigns and precise ad placement control. Experience the difference by requesting a SureFire Video Ad Server demo today!

September 27, 2023 - By Dan Murray
Product Marketing Manager - Ad Tech
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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.