Free Ad Supported Streaming growing market share – FreeWheel


Free Ad Supported Streaming (FAST) services are gaining ground in the video sector as ad views continue to grow, according to the latest video marketplace report from global Comcast-owned adtech, FreeWheel.

As the premium video ecosystem continues to evolve and transform, ad views continue to grow, generally. In the second half of 2022, ad views saw 13% growth year-on-year (YOY) in Europe as viewers embraced a multitude of devices to access the great variety of content available.

The ‘big screen’ remains central to these consumption habits, with 56% of viewing in Europe taking place via connected TV (CTV) and set-top box VOD.

However, whereas in the US, 62% of content is now accessed through OTT devices – outside ‘pay walls’ – in Europe the large majority of content (80%) requires viewers to access through some kind of authentication.

FAST moves: Free Ad Supported Streaming gains in the US. Europe next?

CTV represents an area of importance for advertisers, as it allows them to reach an engaged audience in a premium, ‘lean back’ environment with relevant messaging.

While CTV is becoming more prominent in Europe, data protection regulations are having an impact on advertiser targeting.

In Europe most campaigns (72%) are demo-based; while the same percentage (72%) of campaigns in the US use behavioural-based targeting.

Programmatic in the US

Noticeably, there has been a strong rise in programmatic deals in the US (+12% YOY), now accounting for 32% of all transactions – driven by the adoption of CTV and the outstanding growth of FAST channels.

In Europe the share of programmatic is still small; equivalent to 14% of all transactions. Most of these transactions are made through programmatic guaranteed deals.

These may continue to grow as deals get more curated and privacy measures tighten.

The FreeWheel Video Marketplace Report (VMR) highlights the changing dynamics of how enterprise-class content owners and distributors are monetising premium digital video content.

The data set used for this report is one of the largest available on the usage and monetisation of professional, rights-managed ad supported video content worldwide and is based on aggregated advertising data collected through the FreeWheel platform.

In this edition of the VMR, we explore video advertising trends for the second half of 2022 (2H 2022) in the US and Europe.