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The FAST & The Curious Report by Samsung Ads

May 08,2024
Lauren Wakefield
Connected TVKnowledgeHub

The surge in streaming and tightening of consumer wallets signalled the end of a decade-long ad-free experience and the rise to free streaming. FAST, for those new to the concept, is Free Ad-supported Streaming TV: think scheduled content within streaming TV channels. Like broadcast TV networks, FAST channels are linear – stuff is on, and then it’s over.

Following on from the US success, Europe is now seeing a surge in FAST channels from content owners, distributors as well as the broadcasters. Ralf Rückauer, Vice President Unscripted at ZDF Studios GmbH says “FAST channels like the ones we have launched on Samsung are a perfect complement to our existing distribution strategy. It means we can offer fans very convenient access to our programme brands - without registration. There's a lot more to come.”

With the rapid advancement in streaming-based apps, streamers have diversified where they find their content. During the first half of this year, there were more than 7.1bn app opens on Samsung Smart TVs in the EU5. This represents a +3% MoM growth in the UK, signalling a growing shift towards app-based TV viewing. “For groups like ours, leading diverse and extensive catalogs, it is a fantastic opportunity to revive and reintroduce franchises to new audiences, which may now be less consumed by traditional TV” says Valérie Vleeschhouwer, CEO of Mediawan Rights.

Fernando García Calvo, CEO, The Channel Store says “all of us, specially platforms, need to educate consumers about the availability, quality and easy-and-free access to these contents to accelerate the current organic growth that we are seeing. The never-ending growing prices for paid SVOD services may open a big space to well-curated and high-quality FAST and AVOD offers. If you combine this together with the possibilities for advertisers to direct, measure and control the delivery of their promotional messages, this can lead to a promising future for FAST.”  In this (re)emerging ad-funded era, it’s clear that cost and content will prevail. FAST bring many benefits to  content owners and  advertisers, but only as long as the viewer remains firmly in the driving seat.  

Download Samsung’s latest report here to help decode the new TV landscape

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