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News Is the Highest Performing Programming on FAST Channels

Riley Van Steward

Amagi, a software-as-a-service platform that specializes in streaming technology, released their quarterly report with the following finding in bold orange letters: “FAST is definitely the future of streaming.” They’ve found that consumers around the world are turning to free ad-supported television in a rapidly diversifying content marketplace and that news content is a key pillar of those platforms. The report says that in the first half of 2021, news drove around a third of the total advertising viewership on FAST channels.

This corroborates other reports that say the proliferation of subscription services has the industry cannibalizing on a limited number of customers especially as the market matures and consumers are looking for free options to supplement their chosen few subscriptions.

Yesterday Deloitte predicted that streaming markets around the world will adopt FAST in mass and churn within subscription services will rise dramatically.

“Revenues in the AVOD market - that is home to FAST - are estimated to triple between 2020 and 2026 to $31 billion. Amagi’s data insights no doubt reiterate the revenue advantage that is in store for content owners alongside the reach that both content owners and advertisers are poised to enjoy across FAST,” said Srinivasan KA, co-founder of Amagi.

Services like Tubi and Pluto TV have struck oil on consumer demand. According to research from Hub, 53% of TV watchers spent time with FAST (free ad-supported television) services in October. That’s up 15% over the last two years. Pluto TV will become a $1 billion business this year. It accounted for the majority of ViacomCBS’s streaming advertising revenue growth in Q3. It’s available in 26 countries and has 54 million active users each month.

The report also made clear that mobile viewership would be of vital importance to future media plays: “for those of you keen on tapping into the mobile market, our numbers tell a very heartening story. FAST monetization on mobile devices, which form only 1-2% of the market, has been growing at a CMGR of 14.6%.”

It’s not just news and mobile that FAST needs to tackle. AVOD content generally overlaps between services. And many analysts believe that original content will soon serve as the competitive differentiation between platforms. “It’s definitely an arms race. Content is going to be what gets audiences to stick and come to you,” said Misha Williams, VP of global client services at FreeWheel.

Between mobile viewership, original content and news. FAST services know where they need to go to continue their rapid rise. And if they want to beat their hungry competition, they’ll need to get there fast.

Tubi

Tubi is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 42,000+ movies and television shows - more than any other streaming service. Fox executives have called their service “TV on steroids.”

Tubi’s programming includes films and television series from Fox Entertainment, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Disney, and more.