The Amazing Streaming Balancing Act
by Cat Hausler
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The last year has seen a rise in the number of consumers looking to watch streaming content at the lowest price point possible, and that growth shows no signs of slowing down. According to Hub Entertainment Research’s latest data, in Q4 of 2021, 18% of U.S. households used at least one free, ad-supported TV service (FAST) (a significant increase to Q4 2020’s 8% penetration). In fact, FAST adoption grew by 4.9% in Q4 of last year alone. This brings this channel even closer to the size of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD), which is used by 24% of U.S. households.
It’s not surprising that FASTs have grown so much in popularity over the last few years. Hub Entertainment cited the increased amount of original content available through these platforms, the quality of the shows available, and value for money as the top reasons driving the growth in FAST sign ups by streamers. “Ease of use and value are still the number one and number two drivers of satisfaction, but we can expect FAST users to increasingly expect more beyond a navigable interface in order to stay engaged,” Hub reported. Ultimately, as long as FAST platforms continue to add interesting content, consumers can be counted on to seek out ways to stream their shows at the lowest (or “free,” as it were) price point.
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