Consumers More Attentive to FAST Channels Than Linear TV

As the number of free ad-supported streaming TV channels continues to grow, FAST services are outperforming more traditional linear television and CTV when it comes to capturing and keeping consumer attention, according to two separate studies — one from Samsung, the other from Vizio. Samsung Ads’ report, “Decoding FAST: A Comprehensive Guide to the Free Ad-Supported Streaming Landscape,” reveals that the number of FAST services — among them Fox’s Tubi, The Roku Channel, Paramount’s Pluto TV, Vizio’s WatchFree+ and Samsung TV Plus — has tripled in the past four years, as consumption has grown.

“The growth of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) has seen the rollout of 12 new services launched since 2019, with a 214 percent increase in the number of individual FAST channels available in the United States since November 2020,” Media Play News writes of the Samsung eport.

“Samsung TV Plus alone saw consumption on the free ad-supported streaming TV service internally grow by 60 percent in the last year due to societal factors like economic pressures, the rising costs of streaming services, and market frustration with too many options,” explains the StreamTV Insider coverage.

A lot of the options are coming from FAST competition. “Over half of all U.S. FAST channels serve scripted and reality TV programming, with News & Opinion channels in second place for top genres,” StreamTV Insider reports, pointing out that “reality TV is the most available offering with 120 channels exclusively dedicated to the genre across services, according to Samsung.”

From Vizio and engagement analytics firm Adelaide, a report asserts that FAST services “outperformed linear TV and overall programming at connected TVs” in keeping viewers’ attention, says Media Play News, detailing that “in the study aimed at identifying what TV environments viewers pay the most attention to while watching, FAST apps outperform Adelaide’s overall CTV attention benchmarks by 20 percent to 25 percent, and outperform linear TV by 35 percent to 40 percent.”

The report from Adelaide found that FAST benchmarks “are on par with the biggest AVOD and vMVPD apps by volume,” writes TVNewsCheck. The findings beat back the notion of inattention or reduced value in a FAST environment.

Vizio Senior Director, Media Insights & Analytics Devin Fallon told TVNewsCheck that “as subscription fatigue sets in, viewers are increasingly augmenting their streaming bundles with free services, and this ensures advertisers that FAST environments can drive both upper and lower funnel ROI.”

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