Pluto TV, Tubi and others will see U.S. FAST market hit $4.1B by 2023

Pluto TV, Tubi, the Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus and other leaders in the free, ad-supported streaming television space can expect a revenue boom in the near future.

According to new research from nScreenMedia, the virtuous cycle of expanding audiences attracting more and better content, attracting more advertisers, driving up ad values, and, in turn, attracting more viewers with better content, will nearly double revenue in the next two years. The research firm estimates that ad revenue earned by virtual linear channels will grow from $2.1 billion in 2021 to $4.1 billion in 2023.

nScreenMedia analyst Colin Dixon said interest in vLinear channels has helped Pluto TV more than double its monthly active users over the last two years.

For the most recent quarter, Fox said that Tubi—which it acquired last year for $440 million—recorded total view time of more than 900 million hours, which CEO Lachlan Murdoch referred to as “the critical metric” for measuring the success of ad-supported streaming services.

At the same time, The Roku Channel said it has doubled its streaming hours year over year as new exclusive content like Roku Originals (which were acquired from Quibi) launch on the service.

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In his new white paper, sponsored by Verizon Media, he provides details about ad loads and engagement on FAST services. He said ads occupied between 13 and 14 minutes per hour; ad breaks occurred every six to nine minutes, with three to six ads per break; and FAST viewers report spending as much as 20 minutes per day with the services.

“There was a time when many forecast the death of linear TV viewing,” said Dixon. “However, it is now clear that the format continues to deliver value to viewers. The FAST market has just begun a long period of rapid expansion.”

"At Verizon Media, we've witnessed the evolution of OTT and the rapid adoption of FAST platforms as our customers look to increase their audience reach and provide greater pricing flexibility to consumers," said Ariff Sidi, general manager and chief product officer, Verizon Media Platform.