Free Streaming Services Surging in Popularity as Consumers Cut Costs

New York, NY – With the continuous rise in streaming service costs, many consumers are turning to free, ad-supported television networks, commonly known as FAST channels. These platforms, including Amazon’s Freevee, Pluto TV, Rakuten TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi, and Xumo, are gaining popularity among viewers seeking cost-effective alternatives.

According to Nielsen, these FAST channels now account for 4.1% of the overall TV viewership market, surpassing the viewership of popular platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Analysts predict a 15% annual growth in the value of these networks until 2027, reflecting consumers’ increasing desire for free, ad-supported content.

The appeal of FAST channels lies in providing a variety of older movies and TV shows, alongside some original content and access to live TV channels. From classic films like the Fast and Furious franchise to beloved TV shows like The Andy Griffith Show, these platforms cater to a diverse audience seeking entertainment without the high costs associated with traditional cable and paid streaming services.

While FAST channels are particularly popular among Millennials and Gen-Z members who have never subscribed to cable (known as “cord nevers”), there is also a growing interest from older TV viewers. Regardless of their background, viewers share a common desire for free entertainment, reminiscent of the early days of broadcast television that relied on advertising support.

Tubi stands out as one of the largest and fastest-growing FAST channels, offering a vast library of on-demand content in addition to pre-programmed TV channels. Despite the reliance on back-catalog programming, parent companies continue to invest in marketing these channels to attract new users and maintain steady growth.

However, questions remain about the long-term sustainability and direction of FAST platforms. Some industry experts speculate that the rapid growth may indicate a bubble in the market, with uncertainties surrounding the future trajectory of these networks. Yet, the demand for free content remains undeniable, driving the ongoing success of FAST channels among cost-conscious consumers.