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Tenfold increase in European FAST channels from 2019 to 2022, Dataxis finds

The boom in free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) is picking up pace in Europe, with the number of channels increasing tenfold in just three years.

Sa Eva Nebie

A report from TV market research firm Dataxis reveals that there were only around 200 FAST channels operating in Europe in 2019, but that number had grown significantly to 2,200 by the end of 2022.

The figures indicate that the FAST market on the continent is now a big growth sector in the content industry. However, it is still some way behind the US, where revenue from FAST channels is expected to reach US$4.1bn by the end of 2023, with advertising revenue forecast to hit US$9bn by 2026.

“The innovation of FAST channels has opened new revenue streams for many platforms,” said Sa Eva Nebie, head of research at Berlin-based Dataxis.

“This quantity of channels creates an opportunity for advertisers to pick the channel of their choice and have different options to reach the audience which they’re targeting.

“Viewers, meanwhile, enjoy the ‘lean back experience’ of watching the themed content curated by distributors.”

Paramount’s Pluto TV is by far the market leader in Europe, where it has close to 600 channels, while Samsung TV Plus and LG Channels are second and third respectively with around 300 channels each.

Other players in the European FAST market include Rakuten TV and German AVoD platform Rlaxx TV.

In terms of the genre of programming carried by such platforms, movies and scripted fiction dominate the space with lifestyle, documentary and kids’ content also proving popular.

“The competition has been fierce to create attractive catalogues of content,” said Nebie. “The programming genres least effected by FAST distribution are the more immediate and perishable spaces such as sports and news content.”

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