42% Of Buyers To Spend $25M+ On FASTs In 2023, Most Will Up Spend In 2024

New research among ad buyers from Comcast Advertising and Xumo finds 42% of those currently using free, ad-supported streaming services/FASTs expecting to spend more than $25 million on FASTs this year, and 84% of current users expecting to increase FAST spend next year.

Comcast and Xumo -- which is co-owned by Comcast and Charter and includes the Xumo Play FAST platform -- worked with CRG Global VP, Media Research Gavin Bridge to conduct both advertiser and consumer surveys for a just-released “State of FAST” report.

The advertiser research, fielded in September, included separate surveys of 75 ad buyers currently using FASTs and 75 currently not using FASTs, as well as qualitative interviews with current users.

Among the 75 current users, 70% reported that they started using FASTs in the past 12 months.



(The report also notes that in a study conducted for Comcast by Advertiser Perceptions in August, 48% of 305 ad buyers surveyed reported currently including FASTs in their media buys and plans, and 56% of those not yet using FASTs said they expected to use FASTs before the end of 2023.)

In the new ad-buyer survey, nearly a quarter (24%) of current FAST users said they expect to spend between $6 million and $10 million on those types of channels in 2023, 23% between $26 million and $50 million, 17% between $11 million and $25 million, 17% $5 million or less, 15% $51 million to $100 million, and 4% more than $100 million.

Asked about why they are using FASTs, three in five said they use them to target a specific audience; 54% said they use it to extend the reach of their audience; half said they use FASTs to reach cable subscribers who are watching FAST channels; and two in five said they use it because of cost effectiveness.

In a question probing attitudes about FASTs, 71% of current users and 67% of current non-users said FASTs allow advertisers to reach audiences they can’t reach through other channels.

In addition, 73% of current users and 68% of non-users said FASTs are among “the viewing formats of the future,” and 61% of users and 60% of non-users said that the linear nature of FASTs are appealing as an advertising format.

Half of current users report running campaigns across multiple FAST services, and a third say they’ve run campaigns that include only one FAST.

The report notes that buys can occur across groups of channels by genre, by individual channels, or by a targeted blend of different genres to reach a specific demo.

The report also includes stats based on an analysis of Comcast aggregated viewership data combined with ad exposure data from TV and Effectv streaming campaigns in first-half 2023.

FAST impressions were found to be 10 times more likely to be delivered within hard-to-reach households than traditional TV impressions, and 2.3 times more likely to be delivered within hard-to-reach households than other streaming sectors.

In addition, 88% of the highest-reaching multiscreen campaigns included FASTs, and 94% of FAST impressions are on TV screens.

In a separate study of 4,000 U.S consumers 18 and older, conducted in August, nearly half reported watching at least one FAST service. On average, viewers reported using 1.9 FAST services.

More than half (56%) agreed that FAST channels are as good as cable channels, 57% rated FAST channels as entertaining, and 69% said the can “always find something to watch” on FASTs.

Separately, the report notes that Xumo internal viewership data for 1H 2023 found news accounting for 39% of viewing time on the Xumo Play FAST platform, followed by crime TV (17%), movies (10%), action and drama (5%), sports (5%) and game shows (3%). Other genres accounted for 21% of viewing time.

Xumo users spent 136% more time watching FASTs than ad-supported video-on-demand services in 2023’s first half.

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