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Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) markets outside the US will generate up to $2bn in revenue by 2027

A report released by TBI Vision, in partnership with AI dubbing company Papercup, has revealed that the most rapid growth in Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) over the next 5 years will be seen in markets outside of the US – which are expected to generate up to $2bn in revenue by 2027. 

Move FAST or get left behind combines the latest industry data with insights from executives at Banijay, Roku and Fremantle, in order to alert readers to growth opportunities that lie in overseas FAST markets, and indicate which approaches will separate the winners and the losers. 

While Canada, Australia and the UK are widely considered to offer the greatest potential for expansion outside the US, mainland European markets like Germany and Latin American countries like Brazil will also be among the five top FAST channel revenues outside of the US by 2027. Revenues in Germany are expected to hit $214 by that time, with Brazil trailing just behind at $101m. 

The United States dominates the global market by a significant stretch. FAST is currently the fastest growing streaming tier in the US and is expected to bring in $5.5bn this year alone.  

Given the maturity of the US market, the greatest growth opportunities now lie overseas, with industry data suggesting that the US’ current share of global revenues will drop from 90% down to 86% over the next four years. These forecasts are backed by the fact that FAST revenue has surged by almost 50 times between 2019 and 2022 in the rest of the world. 

The dominance of public-service broadcasting in European countries like the UK has complicated the growth of FAST in the region to date. However, in Move FAST or get left behind major multiplatform content owners like Banijay, Cinedigm and Fremantle confirm that they are now eying up possible expansions into the market. 

Opportunities in Western Europe remain the priority for many content owners, with FAST Hours of Viewing in France and Italy rising by 120% and 111% in 2021, respectively. However, in commentary featured in the report, Banijay Rights VP of Digital, Shaun Keeble, highlights Nordice and CEE countries as other essential regions to watch as consumer access to hardware increases.  

In the Southern Hemisphere, Latin American countries with a history of strong pay-TV markets are also accelerating their adoption of FAST models. Jorge Balleste, VP of Content Partnerships at TelevisaUnivision, shared insights on the performance of the company’s ViX platform to stream the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which delivered “outstanding performance and revenue.”  

For Banijay and Keeble, it is the continued entry of more premium channels into the market that serves as the strongest indicator of the ‘continued growth of viewership and demand’ that his company expects to see in the region. 

For instance, Mexico is predicted to feature alongside Brazil among the top seven nations for FAST by 2027, with combined predicted revenues across both markets estimated to reach almost $200m. 

Papercup CEO Jesse Shemen commented: “Developing FAST offerings that will succeed in growing markets will depend on strong, scalable localization strategies. As markets evolve and distributors compete to offer viewers the most watchable international content, ensuring formats are tailored to the preferences of key demographics will determine who edges ahead in the FAST race.”  

Richard Middleton, Editor at TBI Vision, said: “The speed of FAST’s growth around the world cannot be overstated. While the US has stormed ahead early on, the rest of the world will now be able to enjoy a bigger slice of the growing cake, as it looks Stateside for learnings and best practices.”