FAST services used by more than half of CTV households

Over half of CTV households now watch a free ad-supported streaming (FAST) service on television.

According to Screen Engine-ASI subsidiary TDG, six-in-ten CTVs watch FAST services like Pluto TV and IMDb.

While the significant investment in the sector by the likes of Fox and ViacomCBS has seen their respective services grow in usage, the report notes that it is Google-owned YouTube that is the clear FAST favourite. Of FAST users, 76% watch YouTube – more than twice its closest competitor. The platform generated as much ad revenue in Q2 2021 as Netflix made from subscriptions.

Doug Montgomery, TDG Senior Analyst, said: “Clearly the effects of work-from-home and lack of traditional leisure options during the pandemic accelerated consumer use of free ad-supported streaming services. Most major video providers have been preparing for this moment for years and thus are able to quickly adapt to an accelerated timeline. It is a unique moment in the history of the entertainment business and those who move quickly and boldly will likely reap the benefits for years to come.”

The analyst goes on to assert that the term AVOD, which had predominantly been used to differentiate between subscription- and advertiser-based streaming services, is increasingly redundant. Advertising-based revenue models for streaming services encompass live, transactional, subscription and free distribution models, so the term AVOD, he argues, should be eliminated from industry vocabulary and replaced by ‘ad-supported streaming video’.

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