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Comcast: FAST Streaming Channels Are Changing the TV Ad Landscape

(Image credit: Xumo)

NEW YORK—Free ad-supported TV streaming channels (FAST) are beginning to have a major impact on the TV ad landscape, according to a new report from Comcast Advertising that found FAST channel penetration among households has more than doubled year-over-year.

The report also concluded that six out of 10 households who have connected TVs are using F.A.S.T. services exclusively or in addition to other services to get a TV-like viewing experience without the costs or logins required for linear TV or paid streaming.

“F.A.S.T. is a rapidly growing ad-supported medium for consumers to watch and discover premium streaming content in an environment that mimics linear TV,” said James Rooke, president, Comcast Advertising.

As advertisers look to efficiently maximize their reach in an increasingly fragmented viewing landscape, F.A.S.T services are a valuable complement to traditional TV and other AVOD streaming options as part of a holistic multi-screen media plan, the researchers argued. 

The report also looked at recent viewing trends from FAST provider XUMO, which is owned by Comcast and found that the average XUMO user spends about 104 minutes within the platform once they have entered. 

The researchers also noted that many consumers may be landing on FAST channels without even realizing it, as many are programmed directly into the channel guide by TV manufacturers. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of XUMO users are cord cutters, relying on XUMO as a complement to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services.

The full report, “Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV: Why More Advertisers (and Consumers) Are Going F.A.S.T.”, is available here (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.