With streaming platforms constantly evolving and updating their offerings, new consumer habits around TV consumption are emerging. With OTT consumption on the rise, FAST services are presenting huge opportunities for advertisers, Samba TV assured in its latest “State of Viewership” report for the first half of the year.
In detail, the report notes that as OTT gobbles up more market-share, with almost 100 million US households streaming throughout the half, advertisers should be paying particular attention to FAST services. Each of the major free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platforms tracked year-over-year growth in viewership during 2023, compared to Netflix and Peacock, which saw slight declines.
In particular, Amazon’s Freevee saw the highest growth among FAST services, up 11% year-over-year, compared to Prime Video, which saw a much less substantial 3% bump. With consumers looking to cut costs and limit the number of paid services they subscribe to, FAST becomes more and more appealing to average Americans and, in turn, an excellent place for advertisers to reach them.
Streaming first hit audiences as an ad-free, content-when-you-want-it replacement to cable. But, as these a la carte streaming options swell, audiences are open to welcoming ads back in if it lowers their monthly costs. In fact, over half of US adults say they would subscribe to discounted services if it meant watching ads, and Antenna subscription data from the first half of 2023 shows that becoming a reality.
The first half of this year saw the impact of two of the largest platforms, Netflix and Disney+, introducing ad-tiers. The response from their launch was positive, with over one-third of Disney+ sign-ups in 2023 coming from the ad-supported plan, alongside almost one in five Netflix sign-ups. With 25% of streaming video on-demand (SVOD) subscriptions being ad-supported in 2023, up from 22% in 2022 and 19% in 2021, there are more opportunities than ever for consumers and advertisers alike, the report assures.
At the same time, the study revealed that, although data still indicates that budget-conscious consumers are unwilling to maintain endless subscriptions, more advertising-based video on-demand (AVOD) offerings by the likes of Netflix and Disney+ are contributing to more consumers opting to watch three or four services as opposed to one or two.
Throughout the first half of 2023, about half of households watched two or less streaming services, while the majority watched three or less. Despite limitless options of content to watch across platforms, people remain unlikely to watch more than a few services over the course of a six-month period. With 90% of streamers watching AVOD and more FAST, and AVOD offerings coming to market, this number may continue to grow over the coming months, according to Samba.