Two-thirds of Americans and Canadians use FAST services as a result of their phenomenal development over the past few years. Here are three justifications for why growth should persist.

FAST services’ remarkable growth

Any way you look at it, the FAST industry has grown significantly in the US over the past few years. According to TiVo’s most recent Video Trends Report, the average US and Canadian adult increased their watching portfolio’s total number of video services by 2.7 over the past year, to 11.9. The rise was led by FAST, which added 1.5 services to reach 3.9. Additionally, more FAST service users viewed. From 10.3% in Q4 2021 to 23.5% a year later, FASTs and Social Video increased their share of total daily time watching.

The CEO of Roku, Anthony Wood, is known for stating that not all of the watching that streaming provides is given due credit. eMarketer says it doesn’t appear to be the case. According to the report, connected TV accounted for 22% of the $87.2 billion US TV market’s total value in 2022, while conventional TV accounted for 78%.

Despite the complaints, FASTs are performing reasonably well in the US. Here are three explanations for why this is the ideal moment for FASTs to prosper.

1: SVOD laid the foundation

The fact that SVOD has established its base is among the main causes of FASTs’ expansion. Since the debut of Netflix’s streaming service in 2007, the SVOD market has expanded to become a worldwide phenomenon. At least one of the top 3 SVOD programs is available in more than 8 out of 10 US homes, and half of those customers use them every day.

SVOD has attracted users to streaming services and helped make streaming a necessary component of their TV consumption. For instance, Roku has 70 million monthly active users who watch for an average of three hours and fifty minutes daily. It is more likely that users will run into a FAST service the longer they remain on a streaming platform.

2: Zero barrier to entry

Entering registration information and providing a credit card number are the two largest obstacles to getting someone to try an SVOD service. For FASTs, these concerns don’t matter. There is simply no excuse not to attempt a service once one is made aware of it through a streaming platform. The service is free after all, and many do not require enrollment to begin viewing.

There is a significant drawback to this open-access strategy: turnover. Almost a third use a service for no more than three months. However, FAST services are starting to tackle the issue using the most effective weapon at their disposal: content.

3: FAST services pour on the content

In an effort to keep users coming back to view more, FAST services are in a content arms race. Those who provide linear channels are hard at work adding more channels of higher resolution. Recently, Mythical 24/7, an exclusive program from social media powerhouse Mythical Entertainment, was added to the Roku program. In addition, 14 WB Discovery-powered channels and three from ViXs have been introduced. Originals like @Home with Tori and 3 Pointers, starring Man vs. Food star Casey Webb, have been introduced to Vizio’s WatchFree service.

In order to reengage former viewers, content providers like All3 Media use curation to transform old programs into viewing events. Gary Woolf, EVP of Strategic Development at All3 Media, revealed that the company programmed its Midsommer Murders FAST channel with the top 10 favored episodes of series star John Nettles during a speech at the Connected TV World Summit in London this week.

Hand with tv remote aimed towards big 4k flat screen oled tv with blurred out tv entertainment system meny. Technology and quarantine concept.

Two-thirds of US and Canadian consumers use FAST services, which can be attributed to these three factors. As more time is invested using the services, expect that number to increase.


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