FAST Continues to Gain Consumer Appeal, With Genres Like Documentaries Attracting Steady Fan Following

Amagi Global FAST Quarterly report reveals 99% growth in number of channels, 134% growth in ad impressions, and 103% growth in viewership hours, on its platform

Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) is quickly becoming the content model of choice for viewers and brands alike. Amagi, a global leader in cloud-based SaaS technology for broadcast and connected TV, today announced the third edition of its industry report, revealing that FAST performance is accelerating across the globe, driven by subscription fatigue and consumers’ growing demand for linear viewing experiences. This edition of Amagi’s FAST industry reports aggregates data from its proprietary platform, Amagi ANALYTICS, on viewership and content monetization trends. It covers insights on top ad-supported platforms across the U.S. & Canada, EMEA, APAC and Latin America for 2021.

The report analyzed year-over-year growth of total hours of viewing (HOV) and ad impressions between December 2020 – December 2021, across 2000+ channels on 50+ FAST platforms on Amagi’s dynamic server-side ad insertion platform. The report revealed 99% growth in number of channels, 134% growth in ad impressions, and 103% growth in viewership hours, on the Amagi platform.

“With the remarkable rise of FAST TV, we’re seeing the promise and potential of ad-supported models begin to come to fruition,” said Srinivasan KA, co-founder, Amagi. “Consumers are exhausted by the cost and overwhelming choices of subscription services. Increasingly, they are clamoring for linear, “lean back” viewing experiences across a wide range of genres—and our latest FAST report reflects that clearly.”

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FAST content is exploding, with channels ranging from niche to mainstream

Global content brands are entering the FAST space at a rapid pace, adding a wide variety of mainstream and niche genres to the mix. While news continues to be the most sought-after content on ad-supported platforms, FAST channels are also offering audiences everything from movies, documentaries, music, horror, crime, food, travel, anime, sports, and more. In 2021, the genres with the greatest increase in channels were movies, sports and entertainment, closely followed by music, documentaries and news, reflecting their popularity among consumers in this increasingly crowded space.

FAST viewership and engagement is growing exponentially

Audiences are shifting to ad-supported linear TV—and all signs suggest they want more. In 2021, total FAST viewership hours grew by 103%, while the average session duration increased by 8%. Clearly, viewers are watching more and engaging longer, especially with top-performing genres like news, movies, entertainment, crime and sports. And in a trend that’s picking up speed, viewers are increasingly watching FAST TV via their mobile devices, in addition to Connected TV (CTV). Across the board, these strong indicators of engagement mean now is the time for media players to leverage FAST’s rapid momentum and establish or extend their presence in the space.

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FAST ad revenues are on the rise

Ad-supported streaming platforms are starting to see steady growth in their ad revenues. As top FAST services like Pluto TV and Tubi continue to up the game by investing in quality content, bringing audiences with them, advertisers are clearly following. In 2021 alone, ad impressions grew by a robust 134%, reminding us of the $50 billion in ad opportunities up for grabs for content owners each year across FAST platforms.

“As brands enter and expand into the FAST space at a rapid rate, competition is only growing fiercer. Our latest industry report confirms that continued investment in FAST remains essential,” added Srinivasan KA, co-founder, Amagi. “We expect 2022 to be a big year for innovation in the FAST universe—across programming, advertising and distribution—and will continue to report the data-backed insights content owners, streaming platforms and advertisers need to stay ahead in the streaming game.”

FAST report methodology

Built on data from the Amagi ANALYTICS platform and dynamic ad insertion platform, Amagi THUNDERSTORM, the FAST report analyzes 2000+ channels across 50+ platforms to explore the growth rate of channels and top performing content genres across four key regions: the U.S. & Canada, EMEA, APAC and Latin America.

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