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Samsung: Ad-Supported Free Streaming TV Supplanting Legacy Television Media Play News

January 30, 2024

The growth of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) has seen the rollout of 12 new services launched since 2019, with a 214% increase in the number of individual FAST channels available in the U.S. since November 2020.

That’s according to a new report from Samsung, which along with FAST services Freevee, Google TV, LG Channels, Plex, Pluto TV, Redbox Live TV, Roku Channel, Sling Freestream, STIRR, Tubi, Vix, Vizio WatchFree+ and Xumo Play, operates the branded Samsung TV Plus platform streaming licensed and original content free to Samsung TV owners.

While ad-supported VOD (AVOD) and FAST platforms got their start regurgitating catalog content, Samsung found that more than 33% of current programming is still in production, and 46% is content that first aired since 2020.

FAST channels revolve primarily (57%) around TV shows, news and opinion (18%), movies (13%), and music and sports (6%). News included 333 dedicated FAST channels as of November 2023, with local news accounting for 69% of all FAST news channels.

Separately, the sports genre has skyrocketed in popularity in the past year, growing 153% from 45 FAST channels in 2020 to 114 in 2023.

The report contends that difference between broadcast, cable TV and FAST channels will continue to blur. More MVPDs and virtual MVPDs will include FAST channels into their lineups as they become indistinguishable from traditional TV channels.

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Erik Gruenwedel

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