LONDON—A new report from Omdia is predicting that free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels are going to continue to grow at breakneck speed, with global revenue set to triple between 2022 and 2027 to about $12 billion.
That growth builds on revenue growth of nearly 20X between 2019 and 2022, Omdia reported.
FAST channels are also increasing rapidly with more than 1,500 channels already available in the U.S., the researchers said.
"The number of channels and revenue growth will be significant in the next five years,” explained Media and Entertainment senior director Maria Rua Aguete speaking at the recent Content Americas 2023 conference. “Improving content discovery will be critical to the success of those channels. FAST channels offer numerous benefits to content owners such as the option to monetize old and unused library content and offer as a new content bundle."
Much of this growth will be driven by the U.S., which currently accounts for approximately 90% of the global FAST channel market valued at just under $4 billion in 2022. By 2027, the U.S. FAST channel market will exceed $10 billion in revenue, Omdia predicted.
But in the coming years, FAST channels will grow the quickest outside of the U.S., driving the US share of global revenue down to 86% by 2027. Although the U.S. will continue to dominate the market, a $1.6 billion revenue opportunity will emerge for FAST channels outside of the U.S. by 2027, the researchers said.
Three of the five largest individual FAST markets in 2027 will be English-speaking nations—namely the US, UK, and Canada. Nevertheless, Canada, Germany, and Brazil, which will be in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively, will offer mainstream FAST opportunities for non-English content.
The UK and Canada, which enjoy a significant overspill of content from the U.S., will have FAST markets worth over $500 million and $300 million, respectively, by 2027.
"Omdia forecasts that FAST channels in Germany will generate just over $200 million in the same year, when those in Brazil will hit revenues of $100 million—representing around half of the total Latin American FAST market, which will be worth $207 million in 2027. FAST revenue in Mexico will be $93m in 2027, making it the seventh-largest individual FAST market" concluded Rua Aguete.
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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.
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