New research from Omdia has revealed that FAST’s growth in the U.S. is being powered by a small number of players – with the top five channels accounting for more than 20% of monthly consumption. The top 20 channels accounted for half of FAST visits.
The U.S. data was gathered during August 2023. Omdia data suggests Paramount Global, and its Pluto TV division, have staked a considerable claim on FAST audiences, with the top five U.S. channels all owned by the studio. Pluto TV Spotlight, Star Trek, Pluto TV Action, Pluto TV Reaction and Pluto TV Comedy accounted for 21% of consumption across the top 100 FAST channels in August.
The FAST analysis is the result of Omdia research in partnership with PlumResearch and was revealed exclusively at the annual Media & Leaders Entertainment Summit this week in London. Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Director, Media and Entertainment at Omdia, stated that, “Although FAST has become one of the most discussed growth opportunities for the U.S. over the past three years, the research found that the growth is thanks to the huge reach of a handful of channels.”
She points out that there are over 1,600 FAST channels in the U.S. today and the number is still rising. Omdia observes that major FAST services like Samsung TV Plus, Pluto TV and Freevee have been increasing the size of their channel catalogues. It says ViX and LG Channels saw slight reductions.
Looking at the consumption charts in June and July, the data from the Omdia/ PlumResearch study shows that Pluto TV and Paramount-owned FAST channels also took the top five spots then. “These channels are offering strong IP and elements of exclusivity which are becoming important to channel operators,” the analyst Omdia concludes.
Rua Aguete adds: “Content discoverability has become a vital tool for channel owners as the FAST ecosystem has mushroomed. Twenty channels now represent around 50% of FAST viewing in the U.S., so we are likely to see a lot more consolidation in future as the importance of offering strong IP – such as ‘Star Trek’ – on an exclusive basis grows.”