47% Of U.S. Households Report Using FASTs Weekly

Nearly half (47%) of U.S. households report using a FAST service each week, according to the latest quarterly report from Kantar’s Entertainment on Demand (EOD) service. 

That makes FASTs the fastest-growing type of streamer. 

Average view time across all types of streaming services declined slightly in Q3, with 11% going unused every week — up 10% from Q2, EOD reports.

That’s despite the fact that 120 million U.S. households reported holding at least one video streaming service (including paid, nonpaid, with and without ads and vMVPDs) in Q3, representing 93% of households.

That was up by 3%, from 90% (116 million) households reported in Q2.

FAST penetration saw substantially higher growth in Q3, at 7%.

Amid significant delays in releases of new content due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, Kantar found viewers to be highly price-sensitive.

Case in point: NBCUniversal’s Peacock streamer lost 2% in share of viewing time in August following its price hikes in July, according to the survey data.

The price increases — up $1 for the ad-supported Premium tier and $2 for mostly ad-free Premium Plus tier — resulted in Peacock’s dropping from being the fourth- most-viewed streaming service across paid and free options to the fifth-most-viewed.

Peacock’s growth from August through September was much slower than its growth record to date, and the streamer fell significantly behind the growth seen by the paid video streaming segment as a whole.

"In Q3, pricing strategies had a profound impact on subscriber retention in the U.S. streaming market,” summed up Hannah Avery, consumer insights director at Kantar. “Peacock's July price hike resulted in immediate market share loss, primarily due to subscribers looking to save money.”

With the growth of FAST services outpacing paid ones, “it's clear that price increases become harder to justify,” particularly in an environment in which new content is less prevalent, she added.

As a means of differentiating themselves in an increasingly competitive environment and appealing to consumers sticking with traditional pay-TV for live programming, paid streamers have become more focused in the past year on sports and other livestreamed content, and children’s content, Kantar confirms.

At present, the consumer surveys indicate that these three content types each drives less than 10% of all new streaming subs and contributes even less to overall satisfaction with those subscriptions.

But the opportunity is large: Just 3% of of all paid streaming subscribers and 4% of free streaming service users say that they’re satisfied with the livestreaming channels currently offered on their services.

For example, although Kantar’s ongoing surveys show that the percentage of U.S. streaming users satisfied with the sports content available on their services has been rising more or less steadily since Q1 2021, it still remains under 6%. (See chart top of page.)

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