9 DEC 2021

Free Ad Supported Streaming TV is growing quickly around the world

Driven by the rise of connected television, Free Ad Supported Streaming TV is growing quickly in the United States and across the globe, according to Amagi “Global FAST” report analyzing 1200 channels.

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Driven by the rise of connected television, Free Ad Supported Streaming TV is growing quickly in the United States and across the globe, according to Amagi's "Global FAST" report analyzing 1200 channels.

Free Ad Supported Streaming TV is no longer a US-centric phenomenon, according to the report. Amagi, a global leader in cloud-based SaaS technology for broadcast and connected TV, revealed 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 United States, 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 United States 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 US$25 billion on advertising-supported video by 2025.

“With the undeniable shift to CTV, free ad-supported models have emerged as front-runners in the race for consumer attention and ad revenue. 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,” said Srinivasan KA, Co-founder of Amagi.

● AUDIENCES ACROSS THE WORLD ARE EMBRACING FAST

Consumers beyond the United States are increasingly savoring free ad-supported linear channels that offer a wide range of content genres. In the country, 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 April - September 2021) as well as ad impressions (33% increase from April - September 2021). Much of this can be credited to the growing appetite for local storytelling among viewers, especially in the United States, 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 United States, 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. 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,”  Srinivasan KA concluded.

With the undeniable shift to CTV, free ad-supported models have emerged as front-runners in the race for consumer attention and ad revenue” Srinivasan KA Co-founder of Amagi