FAST Channels See Impressive European Growth

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LONDON—New data is showing rapid growth in free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST), particularly in Europe, with a 99.97% in ad impressions in Q3 2022 compared to a year earlier  and a 51% pop in hours of Viewing, according to Amagi. 

The growth comes at a time when many of the major streaming players are looking to expand their international footprints and to expand their ad-supported streaming offerings. 

"Recent global events have contributed to a difficult economic climate in Europe and across the world. Against this backdrop, the FAST sector has displayed the type of strong performance our Global FAST Report Edition 5 had predicted," said Srinivasan KA, co-founder and chief revenue officer, Amagi. "We see FAST continuing to accelerate in a challenging macro environment, and we anticipate the trend to continue, making it an attractive time for content owners to get into this market."

Amagi reported that Western Europe now has 70% CTV coverage and gaining ground on the US whose coverage is about 80%. 

In Central and Eastern Europe, this figure stands below 50% though this is still fueling a huge FAST viewership spike of over 1,500% across these regions in Q3 2022 when compared to Q3 2021.

The U.K. is the most advanced country when it comes to CTV adoption with rates as high as ~85%, making it possible to reach almost 94% of internet users via connected devices, Amagi reported. 

Amagi Analytics showed between Q3 2022 and Q3 2021, the total hours of viewing grew by 37.44%, while ad impressions saw an impressive 60.80% rise.

The researcher noted that the growth is being driven by three factors: the higher cost of living driving audiences to cheaper or free sources of high-quality content which FAST readily offers; the ever-improving quality of content available on FAST platforms; and the entry of more prominent content brands into the FAST landscape.

In terms of the total hours of viewing for the top seven European countries, Amagi reported that France with 120.77% growth and Italy with 111.54% growth both were up by triple digits in Q3 2022 over the same period in 2021. 

In terms of ad impressions for the same period, Italy tops the list with 501.98% year-on-year growth, France is second at 312.66%, Spain is at 260.06%, Austria at 124.23%, and the Netherlands at 106.23% making up the Top 5.

The data is from Amagi’s Quarterly Global FAST Report. It aggregates data from the company's proprietary viewership and ad analytics platform, Amagi Analytics, which brings together data and insights from 50+ platforms and over 2,000 channels that run on Amagi's SSAI platform, Amagi Thunderstorm. These findings are further supplemented by data gathered from the Amagi Consumer Survey October 2022 – an online survey of ~600 UK households who watched TV at least once in the previous week.

George Winslow

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.