Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

Driven by News, FAST Grows Globally, According to Amagi Survey

Article Featured Image

Free Ad Supported Streaming TV (FAST) is no longer a U.S.-centric phenomenon, according to the Amagi Global FAST report. Amagi, a global leader in cloud-based SaaS technology for broadcast and connected TV, today announced the second edition of its quarterly industry report, which reveals that FAST is steadily making inroads into all regions around the world, powered by Connected TV (CTV). The report aggregates data from its proprietary platform, Amagi ANALYTICS on viewership and content monetization trends on top ad-supported platforms across the U.S. & Canada, EMEA, APAC and Latin America. 

While consumers have been shifting to CTV for years, the pandemic led to a significant increase in CTV adoption, giving FAST services a big boost. As of 2021, almost 83% of households in the U.S. have at least one CTV, used by at least one person every month. At the same time, advertisers are shifting their dollars from traditional TV to streaming TV, with marketers estimated to spend over $25 billion on advertising-supported video by 2025.

Against this background, Amagi’s new report unravels the global FAST narrative, also highlighting that news ranks as the top performing genre in the world. The report analyzed QoQ growth of total hours of viewing (HOV) and ad impressions (Q2: April – June 21 vs Q3: July – September 2021) and monthly growth of the two key metrics between April – September 2021, across 1200+ channels on 50+ FAST platforms on Amagi’s dynamic ad insertion platform.  

“With the undeniable shift to CTV, free ad-supported models have emerged as front-runners in the race for consumer attention and ad revenue,” said Srinivasan KA, co-founder, Amagi. “For both content owners and advertisers, this means now is the time to monetize premium content through an ad-only business model. The consumer demand is there - and they are telling us they want more FAST platforms and linear channels, rather than on-demand experiences.”

Audiences across the world are embracing FAST

Consumers beyond the U.S. are increasingly savoring free ad-supported linear channels that offer a wide range of content genres. In the U.S., ad impressions increased by 67% between April and September of this year, and, compared to last quarter, viewership hours were up by 18%. Viewership hours and content monetization on FAST have shown a similar growth trend across EMEA, APAC and Latin America. Clearly, audiences across the world are embracing the new linear viewing experience, as a growing number of content owners deliver their niche content to platforms globally. The steady rise in HOV and ad impressions reflects that this market segment is gaining increased stability, serving as a positive signal to content owners and advertisers to invest in this space. 

News stands out as the top performing genre in the world

Across the world, news continues to be the star performer on FAST channels, accounting for maximum hours of viewing (19% increase from Apr - Sep 2021) as well as ad impressions (33% increase from Apr - Sep 2021). Much of this can be credited to the growing appetite for local storytelling among viewers, especially in the U.S., where local station groups have found a steady audience stream on FAST. As more and more advertisers cash in on this trend and news content becomes increasingly 'monetizable', the dominance of the news genre may become a permanent fixture. 

Genre preferences vary by region

Based on impressions and hours of viewing, the Amagi report reveals different genre preferences across regions. While news is the top genre in the U.S., EMEA loves the documentary genre. However, in Latin America, movies have garnered maximum viewership while the food genre has attracted maximum ad impressions. Similarly, in the APAC, news is leading with maximum viewership, while music is seeing increased ad conversions. These are interesting trends that can be significant to advertisers in gauging how well they can invest their ad spend on various platforms and genres. 

“Our report reflects the booming global consumer demand for CTV and free ad-supported models. Clearly, we are seeing growing competition in this universe, in turn leading to a greater demand for data and insights on content and ad performance,” added Srinivasan KA, co-founder, Amagi. “Through our quarterly industry reports, we hope to offer content owners, streaming platforms and advertisers granular data and sharp insights that help them confidently shape their FAST programming and advertising strategies for sustained success.”

To view the second edition of Amagi’s FAST report in its entirety, click here. The third edition will be released in January 2022, showcasing more data and insights on FAST viewership trends. Finally, the first FAST report can be found here, covering April - June, 2021.  

[Editor's note: This is a lightly edited press release.]

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Enter CNN Max: News, Then Sports the Differentiators for WBD’s Max Überplan

WBD hopes CNN Max, its latest attempt to solve news streaming, will finally crack the code. But it has its work cut out since the platform, launching September 27, is behind the curve of its competitors.

Talking the Future of FAST at NAB 2023

A session on The Business of FAST: The Challenges in Monetization, Market Saturation and Viewer Engagement in the Streaming Summit at NAB 2023 brought together panelists from Brightcove, Gusto TV, Plex, Samsung TV Plus, SlingTV, and Vevo to discuss the surging FAST segment of the streaming market and strategic approaches to maximizing revenues and enhancing discoverability and personalization as more viewers tune in and new channels increasingly glut the market.

Comcast Urges Advertisers to Buy into FAST

In a report designed to focus advertiser attention on its own FAST service Xumo, Comcast finds that FAST penetration has more than doubled year-over-year. 

A Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) Shakeout Is Coming. Deploy Your Data to Survive.

As the free ad-supported television (FAST) market gets ever-more crowded, companies that leverage their data in the smartest ways will thrive while others fall by the wayside.

The Evolution of Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST)

This potential for innovation and accessibility truly sets FAST platforms apart from both traditional over-the-air linear and on-demand streaming platforms. Over the coming years, we will increasingly see that impact as more device manufacturers and VOD platforms, both ad-supported and paid, enter the space, providing an ever more diverse set of curated and personalized linear channels to their users. 

How Pluto TV Pivoted From AVOD to FAST

Pluto TV CTO & EVP Vibol Hou discusses Pluto TV's evolution from an AVOD OTT service to a FAST provider in this clip from an interview with Streaming Media's Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen at Streaming Media West 2021.

How Inconsistent Reporting Hurts FAST Channels

Laugh Out Loud CEO Jeff Clanagan explains how the inconsistent metrics reported by different OTT platforms makes it difficult for ad-supported channels to evaluate and analyze their viewership and their channel's monthly performance in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2021.

The CTV Opportunity: FAST and AVOD in 2021

Hub Entertainment Research's Jon Giegengack discusses recent survey findings on ad-supported connected TV in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2021.