Select Page

Category: FAST

Cable TV Is Back … Sort of

Back when there were just three big streaming services (Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video) it was easy enough to manage them along with a cable subscription, especially since most consumers don’t seem to view Amazon as a video service they are paying for, but rather an additional perk of a free two-day delivery service.

But now that we’re up to eight mega-SVOD services, people are feeling overwhelmed. They don’t like having to go to Google to figure out which service that new Kaley Cuoco show about the flight attendant is on. Or remembering which six months free offer is about to expire. Or feeling compelled to only watch original series every time they turn on the TV.

Hence the desire for simplicity, for a return to something that looks and feels a lot like the old cable TV system, only without all the bad parts.

Read More

FAST Usage Was Up 9 Points in the First Five Months of 2022

The percentage of U.S. TV watchers who say they use a free, ad-supported streaming service like Roku Channel, Pluto TV or Freevee ticked up 9 points to 55% in the first five months of 2022, according to a survey of 3,004 U.S. consumers conducted by Hub Entertainment Research.

Meanwhile, the percentage of those who report using a partially ad-supported tier of a subscription streaming service, including Peacock, Hulu or HBO Max, ticked up four points to 42% over that same span.

Read More

Google TV could offer native access to Xumo streams

would offer access to dozens of linear channels without the need to download a separate application, which would be the first time Google offered its users native access to free, ad-supported content within the Google TV ecosystem.

Offering native access to free, ad-supported content would put Google TV devices on the same level as its competitors in that space. Roku and Amazon, which command around 70 percent of the domestic streaming platform market, offer free, ad-supported streaming services of their own: Roku users have access to the Roku Channel, while Amazon’s free streaming channels are baked into its Freevee service, which comes pre-installed on Fire TV-powered gadgets.

Read More

The End of Peak TV? Not So FAST

While the volume of content for premium streaming services may indeed be contracting, expansion is still on the horizon for free ad-supported streaming, known as FAST. Google is reportedly on the verge of launching a lineup of free, linear streaming channels, and even WBD’s Zaslav is looking to expand into FAST, despite cutting back in nearly every other area.

Library content may not be all it offers, however. FAST services Tubi and Crackle have each committed to releasing over 100 original titles on their respective services in the next year, a significant strategy shift for these platforms. 

With competition continuing to ramp up in the FAST space, original programming is poised to become a new key tactic for attracting viewers, especially if it proves successful for services like Tubi. Original content has not previously been a major component of FAST programming, giving this space substantial growth potential.

Peak TV probably hasn’t peaked just yet, at least in terms of the number of shows being produced. But the TV landscape will still look very different going forward, with fewer big-budget titles, more free programming and different levels of content across different tiers of advertising and pricing.

Read More

Warner Bros. Discovery Considers Free Streaming Service for Classic Movies

Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav confirmed on the company’s latest earnings call that a FAST service is in the works.

According to Reuters, one proposed service would open the Warner Bros. vault for free streaming of landmark movies like “Casablanca,” “The Maltese Falcon,” and “Citizen Kane.”

While it’s unclear if Warner Bros. Discovery will launch a FAST service and what content may be included, this would be a lucrative option. A standalone library of classic films may not draw as many eyes as a general entertainment offering, so it remains to be seen if this is the path the company takes.

Read More

Estrella Media launches 3 FAST channels on LG smart TVs

Estrella Media is expanding its free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) presence, debuting today Cine EstrellaTV on LG Channels.

Estrella Media has gradually gained exposure on smart TV systems. The company is a content partner on Roku’s Espacio Latino – a recently launched hub for Roku’s Spanish language programming. And Estrella Media last year launched EstrellaTV and Estrella News on Vizio’s SmartCast TVs.

Read More

LG Ramps Up Viewing Options On LG Channels

Smart TV manufacturers have been ramping up their content and ad offerings in ways that puts competitive pressure on providers of streaming media devices like Roku, Google, Apple and Amazon.

Since its introduction to LG’s webOS platform, LG Channels has grown into one of the top 6 apps on webOS in the U.S. in terms of streaming hours and averages approximately 40% daily growth compared to 2021 usage, LG reported.

Read More

As the TV content boom fosters ‘decision paralysis,’ Samsung thinks big ads can help

A Now survey showed that 49% of UK audiences spent so long looking for content they didn’t watch anything, making discoverability a “big issue” for advertisers fighting for attention. Meanwhile, according to research by Ipsos, 75% of viewers look to their smart TVs to help them with discoverability and recommendations. Based on the insight that “infinite options” will “overwhelm” viewers, Samsung has prioritized discoverability in its latest homepage redesign.

Read More

Join the Newsletter

The Streaming Wars is free weekly newsletter that curates the most important direct-to-consumer video news, the best OTT video insights, and job listings directly to your mailbox.