Consumers – no matter if they’re wanting to watch content for personal or professional reasons – crave convenience.

They want content to be easily discoverable. High-quality user interfaces (UI) allow consumers to seamlessly browse through extensive content libraries. These have been instrumental in allowing FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) services such as Samsung TV Plus to thrive – and this trend also rings true for SVOD (subscription video on demand) services’ paid-for tiers. Staying faithful to this across their new ad-supported tiers is the catalyst for providing a best-in-class ad experience. 

The ‘binge watching’ culture which has developed over the years reinforces consumers’ desire for lean-back viewing experience. The abundance of content is a stepping stone to choice paralysis – almost 50 percent of viewers acknowledge they give up trying to find something to watch after spending too long browsing. FAST channels have leveraged a linear programming format to ensure viewers enjoy a simple, straightforward viewing experience.

Identifying audience’s viewing preferences is key to SVOD platforms delivering content to consumers where – and when – they want.    

Two years ago, AVOD and FAST were seen as noise distracting from the broadcasters in their own battle with SVODs for audiences. Now, FAST is one of the industry’s hottest topics. And this is no fleeting trend.

By embracing the principles of FAST – engaging, premium, and free content that is easy to discover; delivered to audiences when and where they want; funded by targeted and relevant advertising – these streamers can put themselves in the fast lane for future streaming success. 

Being pragmatic in an ever-changing landscape

During the last decade, the pendulum has swung from a majority linear viewing behaviour amongst audiences to one that now increasingly uses streaming. And within streaming, SVOD was always the keen favourite; watching as much as you want, whenever you want, without ads, for less than a tenner a month (in most cases). 

Fast forward to now, and that tenner a month is more like twenty, thirty or forty a month, because it’s not enough to just have one subscription. Consumers want access to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Stan and more to get access to all the content they want (or, more likely, to keep up with all the latest shows that have been recommended to them). It can be overwhelming. Pair this with tougher economic times and you’ve got a growing cohort of consumers rethinking their spending habits – but not their viewing habits. 

In the first half of 2022, we saw that audience viewing times across SVOD platforms on our TVs fell 5 percentage points (pp), whilst AVOD experienced a 5pp positive swing. 

FAST services also enjoyed a faster rise to prominence than expected in the second half of 2022, with European viewing hours across FAST increased by 51% between July and September 2022

Understanding your new and changing audience behaviours and diversifying how content is delivered could enable your organisation to unlock greater subscription numbers. And this is where incorporating those principles of FAST services can pay dividends. 

The best things in life are free

Netflix and Disney may have invested heavily in their content catalogues. But premium content alone doesn’t guarantee success. 

Consumers might not pay a monthly fee for FAST services – but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t require funding. These environments rely on targeted, relevant advertising. Samsung Ads’ ‘Understanding Advertising Engagement’ identified FAST and AVOD ads as consumers’ favourites. Enhanced relevance, shorter duration and reduced frequency are all factors ensuring they didn’t disrupt the viewing experience. 

Netflix and Disney have impressive track records of successfully tapping into – and moulding – cultural shifts over the past decade. And this should give the industry confidence that these streaming giants can deliver premium ad-supported models which meet the demands of today’s TV viewer.  

Tapping into what makes FAST a compelling proposition to your audiences and advertisers can empower your organisation to continue widening the audience pool you attract to your platform – and thereby advertisers.

Consumers’ appetite for lean-back, convenient experiences does not appear to be waning.

If you want help curating your videos, we’ve got a variety of solutions that will help your audience find content relevant to their interests and also recommend new content to them. We can help build channels of content that will autoplay one video after another so your audiences can binge on anything they want. 

For a free, no obligation demo – contact us