According to the research, 53% of TV viewers have spent time with FAST services in October 2021, an increase of 15% from the previous two years.
Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) is quickly becoming the content model of choice for viewers and brands alike, according to the third edition of Amagi’s industry report.
The quarterly report has revealed 99% growth in number of channels, 134% growth in ad impressions, and 103% growth in viewership hours, on its platform.
In 2021, total FAST viewership hours grew by 103%, while the average session duration increased by 8%. Viewers are watching more and engaging longer, especially with top-performing genres like news, movies, entertainment, crime and sports. And in a trend that’s picking up speed, viewers are increasingly watching FAST TV via their mobile devices, in addition to Connected TV (CTV). The report stated that this is the time for media players to leverage FAST’s rapid momentum and establish or extend their presence in the space.
According to the report, FAST performance is accelerating across the globe, driven by subscription fatigue and consumers’ growing demand for linear viewing experiences. This edition of Amagi’s FAST industry reports aggregates data from its proprietary platform, Amagi ANALYTICS, on viewership and content monetization trends. It covers insights on top ad-supported platforms across the US, Canada, EMEA, APAC and Latin America for 2021.
The report analysed year-over-year growth of total hours of viewing (HOV) and ad impressions between December 2020 – December 2021, across 2000+ channels on 50+ FAST platforms on Amagi’s server-side ad insertion platform.
With subscription fatigue on the rise, 4.5m consumers cancelled their streaming subscriptions in Q3 of 2021, reducing streaming penetration to 85%. Meanwhile, FAST services have seen a 15% uptick in the last two years, with 53% of viewers regularly tuning into FAST channels, according to Hub Entertainment Research.
Commenting on the report, Srinivasan KA, Co-founder of Amagi, said: “With the remarkable rise of FAST TV, we’re seeing the promise and potential of ad-supported models begin to come to fruition. Consumers are exhausted by the cost and overwhelming choices of subscription services. Increasingly, they are clamouring for linear, ‘lean back’ viewing experiences across a wide range of genres—and our latest FAST report reflects that clearly.”
Global content brands are entering the FAST space at a rapid pace, adding a wide variety of mainstream and niche genres to the mix. While news continues to be the most sought-after content on ad-supported platforms, FAST channels are also offering audiences everything from movies, documentaries, music, horror, crime, food, travel, anime, sports, and more. In 2021, the genres with the greatest increase in channels were movies, sports and entertainment, closely followed by music, documentaries and news, reflecting their popularity among consumers in this increasingly crowded space.
Ad-supported streaming platforms are starting to see steady growth in their ad revenues. As top FAST services like Pluto TV and Tubi continue to up the game by investing in quality content, bringing audiences with them, advertisers are following. In 2021 alone, ad impressions grew by 134%, reminding of the $50bn in ad opportunities up for grabs for content owners each year across FAST platforms, the company stated.
Srinivasan KA added: “As brands enter and expand into the FAST space at a rapid rate, competition is only growing fiercer. Our latest industry report confirms that continued investment in FAST remains essential. We expect 2022 to be a big year for innovation in the FAST universe—across programming, advertising and distribution—and will continue to report the data-backed insights content owners, streaming platforms and advertisers need to stay ahead in the streaming game.”