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60% of Households Watch FAST Channels as Free Streaming Options Continue Expansion

Trevion Anglin

Comcast Advertising's latest report finds that free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels are spreading like wildfire across the streaming industry, as more users find themselves choosing the low-cost linear television substitute.

The new report titled “Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV: Why More Advertisers (and Consumers) Are Going F.A.S.T.”, found that six out of 10 households with TVs are either exclusively using FAST channels, or use them in addition to other streaming services.

“F.A.S.T. is a rapidly growing ad-supported medium for consumers to watch and discover premium streaming content in an environment that mimics linear TV,” said James Rooke, President of Comcast Advertising. “As advertisers look to efficiently maximize their reach in an increasingly fragmented viewing landscape, F.A.S.T services are a valuable complement to traditional TV and other AVOD streaming options as part of a holistic multi-screen media plan.”

For the study, Comcast analyzed information from its own FAST channel provider Xumo. The streamer’s data reveales that the average user logs on for an estimated 104 minutes before signing out and that 70% of Xumo users are cord cutters.

A report by Kantar in January found similar data on high FAST channel usage, stating that FAST channels were the primary source of growth for quarter-on-quarter penetration with growth of 4.9%, making it the fastest growing tier of streaming.

Kantar also found that 18% of U.S. households now regularly use a FAST service as of the fourth quarter of 2021, more than doubling from the same quarter in the previous. In Q4 2021, services such as Roku Channel, Tubi, IMDB TV (now called Freevee, and Peacock were amongst the leaders in terms of share of new users accounting for 79% of the FAST user base in that period, according to Kantar.

With numbers having substantial growth with each year, FAST channels are rapidly becoming a cornerstone in the world of streaming.

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