More Consumers are Watching FAST TV on Multiple Devices

BY Denise Gibson
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Consumers are turning their economic concern to their TV viewing habits. To save money, consumers are watching more FAST TV and investing less in paid TV subscriptions. Here’s what your TV advertising clients need to know.

More Consumers are Watching FAST TV on Multiple Devices

Free Ad-​Supported TV > Paid Subscriptions

According to a report from TiVo, consumers are turning more of their attention to non-​paid TV subscriptions. In 2021, the average consumer had just two nonpaid video sources and seven paid sources. Now, they have an average of over five nonpaid channels and their paid channels have remained the same or decreased.

Even though consumers are adding more FAST TV options to their media mix, they’re not watching more TV. They’re still watching the same roughly 4.7 hours of TV every day. So, nonpaid subscriptions are earning more of their attention and are taking that attention away from paid sources.

And no, it’s not just lower income households that are turning to free TV. TiVo says that the higher a household’s annual income is, the more TV services they’re likely to subscribe to. And higher income households are becoming increasingly tolerant of ad-​supported TV.

In fact, 70.7% of consumers say they actively use FAST TV services. 61.3% go as far as to say it’s their main source of live TV. And consumers who use free ad-​supported services say they watch an average of over five channels.

Overall, 62.5% of consumers say that they’ve reduced their entertainment spending due to the current economic climate.

High Prices = Subscription Cancellations

According to a previous SalesFuel blog based on data from bango, consumers are putting their foot down on price hikes. “56% of U.S. consumers report recently cancelling SVOD subscriptions when prices hiked too high. 58% followed suit when news subscription prices rose too high.”

It’s not just the price difference that makes consumers love FAST TV. Another SalesFuel blog based on Hub data says that consumers enjoy these subscriptions’:

  • Value: 42% agree
  • Variety of exclusive shows and movies: 41%
  • Selection: 38%

Overall, 34% of consumers say that if they’re really interested in a show or movie, they’ll watch a few ads to finish it.

Which services offer the TV shows and movies that your client’s target audience is willing to sit through ads for? You can find out on their profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. The research shows you:

  • Which types of TV programming are their favorites (e.g., comedies, sports, etc.)
  • Which sports they enjoy watching
  • Where they get their TV programming from
  • And much more

Time Spent Watching Different Services

Paid TV subscription services still take up quite a bit of consumers’ viewing time, but that time is steadily decreasing. Between 2021 and 2023, the percentage of time consumers spent watching pay TV fell from 38% to 27.9%.

Ad-​supported services, on the other hand, have risen from 8.7% of consumers’ viewing time in 2022 to 10.3% in 2023.

How/​Where Consumers are Watching Ad-​Supported TV

And consumers aren’t just watching nonpaid video services on the big screens in their homes. According to TiVo, free ad-​supported TV now accounts for 10.3% of consumers’ viewership outside of the home. That’s only slightly less than pay TV’s 10.8.%.

That's probably because they're watching more TV on mobile devices like:

  • Smartphones: FAST TV watchers spend 39% of their viewing time watching content on these devices
  • Computers: 18.4%
  • Tablets: 12.2%

They’re mainly watching TV in vehicles:

  • 29.2% say they watch video to pass the time while waiting in the car
  • 10.1% say it’s to pass the time on long road trips
  • 8.9% say it’s to pass the time at gas stations

This is great news since the viewing extends opportunities for video ads to promote products/​services consumers might buy. The ads your client’s viewers see in the car could inspire an impromptu stop to shop.

Photo by: Clay Banks