23 OCT 2023

Pluto TV leads US broadcasters in FAST-only content

Among US studios, 22% of content on Pluto TV is only available via the platform’s FAST channels, a higher share than other major studio-backed FAST services, Ampere Analysis revealed in its latest report.

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In the rapidly evolving ad-supported streaming space, many platforms distribute content both on-demand and now also through FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) channels. Despite much content being shared across the two distribution types within a single platform, there is not a complete overlap between them. Among US studios, 22% of content on Paramount Global’s purely ad-supported service (Pluto TV) is only available via the platform’s FAST channels, a higher share than other major studio-backed FAST services such as Fox’s Tubi (9%) and NBCUniversal’s Peacock (1%), Ampere Analysis revealed in its latest report.

FAST-only content has a similar genre mix to titles that play on both FAST and on-demand services, being high in Unscripted formats such as Documentary, Reality and particularly Entertainment. On a title level, FAST-only strategies have distinct attributes. Tubi, for example, licenses content previously removed from the Max catalogue, including premium Scripted content such as “Westworld” and “Raised by Wolves,” and Reality show “Legendary,” which are offered only via its Warner Bros.-branded FAST channels. However, Tubi’s main focus is its on-demand catalogue, with 87% of its content being AVOD-only. Unlike Pluto TV, Tubi’s catalogue also includes Originals, with 18 titles entering the pipeline in 2023 so far.

Paramount Global, on the other hand, has made a greater commitment to its FAST platform, including premium TV series and movies from its Paramount+ SVOD library such as “Yellowstone,” “No Country for Old Men” and “The Truman Show,” along with popular licensed shows such as “The Walking Dead” and “One Piece” which sit on their own branded channels.

NBCUniversal’s low percentage of FAST-only content, meanwhile, reflects linear streaming’s role on Peacock as supplementary to its SVOD catalogue, Ampere noted. The platform stopped offering its free tier for new sign-ups in January 2023, thus pay-walling its FAST channels and AVOD content for new users. As a result, the channel volume has remained static with 30 channels available and no additions in 2023. Though free ad-supported content is still available for existing users, NBCUniversal has shifted Peacock’s focus to its paid-for tiers, abandoning investment for now in the FAST model.

Fox’s AVOD-first strategy sees its Tubi service having the highest share of monthly active users (26% of US respondents) among pureplay AVOD services, according to Ampere’s FAST consumer survey (Q2 2023). However, Paramount Global’s more balanced strategy has allowed Pluto TV to remain competitive despite a smaller overall library: Pluto TV has the second highest share of monthly active users (22%) with the highest FAST usage (11%) across all surveyed platforms.

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