The Most Demanded FAST Genre in 2024: News

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2024 is the ultimate election year. A total of 91 countries—including the U.S., the U.K., India, and 27 European Union nations—will hold elections. In this context, it’s no surprise to witness platforms and news outlets finessing their FAST channel strategy. The BBC News FAST channel launch was perfectly timed in that regard. BBC News is now available as a FAST channel on platforms like Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, Xumo Play, VIZIO, and more.

Why Should Streaming Platforms Get Into News?

The reasoning is simple: As streaming platforms position themselves as replacements for cable and broadcast TV, they must provide what the latter did and more.

Why Should News Organisations Get Into FAST?

News creates unmissable cultural and educational moments. The sector faces several headwinds though, such as news avoidance, distrust, or simply a decrease in interest, as evidenced in Reuters Institute’s 2023 Digital News Report.

declining interest in news over time

Declining interest in news over time

News organisations therefore cannot rely on their legacy recipe to deliver the news to today’s audiences. They must aim for ubiquity while adopting the codes of each distribution channel they address. Just as news outlets started embracing new platforms like TikTok (check out Brut’s account) or Instagram (see BBC News’ Instagram account, with its more than 27 million followers), they should embrace FAST to meet their audiences where they spend time.

What Does the FAST News Landscape Look Like?

Let’s start with the home of FAST: the U.S. In February 2024, the U.S. had 1,951 live FAST channels across 19 platforms (ABC, CW Channels, Fire TV, Freevee, Google TV, LG Channels, Local Now, Peacock, Plex, Pluto TV, Redbox, Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Sling Freestream, Tubi, VIDAA, ViX, VIZIO WatchFree+, and Xumo Play), according to CRG Global’s latest report, in partnership NAB Amplify.

The news genre represented 17% of the overall FAST channel proposition, with 325 channels (a 23% increase year over year) from local, national, and international outlets. This may seem like a lot, but the numbers add up quickly with local news channels, which have been burgeoning in the U.S. (231 out of 325 channels).

Which News Organisations Are Active in FAST?

ABC News may have been the first major U.S. network to get into the FAST business. It launched ABC News Live in 2018 when Roku introduced its bouquet of FAST news channels, along with Cheddar News and PeopleTV. Since then, the genre has seen the entry of a dozen Tier 1 brands, including CBS, CNN, Fox, and others.

tier 1 news brands with us fast channels

Tier 1 news brands with US FAST channels

What About Europe?

We have four main categories of FAST news channels live today in Europe:

  • Broadcasters—Euronews, RTVE, France 24, Africanews, BFMTV
  • Pure players—Ticker News, Reuters
  • Newspapers—Le Figaro, El País, The Guardian
  • International outlets—CNN, Bloomberg, NBC News NOW

european live fast news channels

European live news FAST channels

How Is the Performance?

You may have heard that performance data is scarce for FAST. Amagi’s Global FAST Report offers only a partial view on channel performance, since the data collected concerns only FAST channels that use Amagi’s technology, such as Fintech TV, AccuWeather, NBC, and Vice Media. But it has the merit of giving us an indication of how the genre performs in FAST. According to the report, news commanded 37% of the overall streaming hours and 35% of the ad impressions in Q4 2023.

amagi top 3 fast genres

News accounts for a substantial share of streaming hours and ad impressions on Amagi-based FAST platforms.

What’s Next?

Whether you go into FAST or not, it’s important to recognise that times are changing. Audiences are shifting from pay TV to CTV, from legacy media to digital. The best strategy is a multifaceted one in which you show up with your brand, your editorial, and your content everywhere
your audience hangs out. There won’t be a premium spot in FAST (and beyond) for everyone.

News outlets better get to it now.

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