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Xumo 2024 FAST Report Reveals Shifting Entertainment Habits Toward Free and Easy Streaming

Time-Spent Watching FAST During Primetime Hours Rivals Gaming, Social Media and Cable TV

70 Percent of FAST Users Can Always Find Something to Watch on Free Streaming Channels

Xumo, together with FASTMaster Consulting, today released a new research report, 2024 FAST Market Update. Taking an in-depth look at viewers’ engagement with free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST), the new report provides the industry, including content owners and advertisers, with meaningful insights into the role FAST plays in consumers’ evolving entertainment decisions. It offers insight into topics like who is watching, when and how much they watch, why they watch, and how FAST viewing compares to other major forms of entertainment.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Xumo 2024 FAST Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

Xumo 2024 FAST Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

“The findings of this report underscore the increasingly important role FAST plays in today’s entertainment landscape, dispelling myths and highlighting the diverse, engaged, and growing audience that finds value in our free and easy streaming,” said Stefan Van Engen, Vice President, Content Programming and Partnerships, Xumo. “As engagement levels during primetime rival other major forms of entertainment, it’s clear that FAST is becoming a part of people’s everyday lives.”

Despite being a relative newcomer to the entertainment landscape, the findings reveal FAST is becoming a primary means of entertainment for today’s consumers, with a third of American adults saying they regularly watch FAST channels during peak primetime hours. Additionally, time spent watching FAST channels is on par with other forms of entertainment. Specifically, the average FAST viewer spends one hour and 40 minutes watching FAST channels in the evening, whereas a gamer typically spends one hour and 42 minutes playing video or mobile games during this same timeframe. Consumers also said they scroll social media for one hour and 53 minutes, while cable TV customers spend one hour and 58 minutes watching cable network programming.

“There are many myths about FAST which are often bandied about by external onlookers, such as FAST viewers watch because they have no alternatives or they are a less desirable consumer for advertisers,” said Gavin Bridge, Chief Analyst, FASTMaster Consulting. “I am very happy that Xumo has sought to address this via research into who watches FAST, dispelling false narratives with facts and illustrating why FAST continues to grow and needs to be part of any marketer’s toolkit to maximize reach.”

Other findings of the report explore topics like the who, what and why of FAST viewing:

Who is watching

  • Pay TV customers watch more FAST than cord-cutters or cord-nevers: Nearly half (47%) of consumers that subscribe to a pay-TV service say they also regularly watch FAST. In comparison, 46% of cord-cutters report being regular viewers of FAST, while only 35% of cord-nevers say they do.
  • FAST viewers trend younger and more diverse. While 46% of the US. adult population is between the ages of 18 and 44 according to the U.S. census, 58% of FAST viewers fall within that range. Additionally, Black viewers represent 20% of FAST’s audience, compared to 14% of the U.S. population. Similarly, 23% of FAST viewers have Latino origins, compared to 19% nationally.

What they watch

  • FAST viewers over-index on news, movies and crime TV. Together, these genres represent 58% of total viewing hours on Xumo Play, but only account for 11% of total channels.

Why they watch

  • FAST is a reliable form of entertainment. Nearly 70% of FAST users say they can always find something to watch on free streaming channels.
  • FAST is becoming a top choice for many viewers. More than half of FAST users say it is one of their favorite forms of entertainment.

The data in this report is from a market research project Xumo commissioned with FASTMaster Consulting, which collected responses from 4,000 U.S. adults among varied age, gender and ethnicity groups between the third quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024.

About Xumo

Xumo, a joint venture between Comcast and Charter, was formed to develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform for the entire entertainment industry. The company is defined by three primary lines of business: Xumo devices, Xumo Play, and Xumo Enterprise.

Powered by Comcast’s global technology platform, Xumo devices feature a world-class user interface that includes universal voice search capabilities, making it easy for consumers to find and enjoy their favorite streaming content. Xumo Play is a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service with hundreds of ad-supported linear channels and on demand options that anchors the free content offering on Xumo devices and is also available as an app on other major streaming platforms. Xumo Enterprise is the business-to-business arm of the joint venture, providing content makers, distributors and advertisers with tools and services to make FAST content more accessible.


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