FAST gains pace across the globe | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
With news particularly driving eyeballs and ad dollars, Free Ad Supported Streaming TV (FAST) has evolved from being a US-centric phenomenon and is steadily making inroads into all regions around the world, according to findings from the Amagi Global FAST report.
Amagi Momentum PR banner 8Oct2020 1
Built on data from the Amagi Analytics platform and Thunderstorm dynamic ad insertion platform, the FAST report analysed over 1200 channels across more than 50 platforms to explore the growth rate of channels and top performing content genres across four key regions: the US and Canada, EMEA, APAC and Latin America.

While consumers have been shifting to connected TV (CTV) over that last few years for years, the pandemic has led to a significant increase in its adoption, giving FAST services a big boost. The study noted that as of 2021, almost 83% of households in the US have at least one CTV, used by at least one person every month. At the same time, advertisers have been shifting their dollars from traditional TV to streaming TV, with marketers estimated to spend over $25 billion on advertising-supported video by 2025.

Amagi’s report also analysed quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of total hours of viewing (HOV) and ad impressions comparing the period from April – June 2021 compared with Q3, namely July to September 2021 and monthly growth of the two key metrics between April – September 2021.

In the US, 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 monetisation on FAST have shown a similar growth trend across EMEA, APAC and Latin America. Amagi said that clearly audiences across the world were 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.

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, said Amgi, can be credited to the growing appetite for local storytelling among viewers, especially in the US, 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 ‘monetisable’, the dominance of the news genre may become a permanent fixture.

Based on impressions and hours of viewing, the report found news to be the top genre in the US, 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. 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 Amagi co-founder Srinivasan KA. “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.”