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Indian elections driving growth of news genre on FAST: Amagi report

News took the top spot in APAC in terms of both HOV (55%) and ad impressions (64%) this year.

The election season in India has provided a strong impetus for the growth of the news genre on Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST), according to a recent Amagi report. 

Comparing the January to March quarter of 2024 with the corresponding period of 2023, the report ‘Grabbing the remote control: What’s on FAST?’ says that the APAC region has seen news grow tremendously driven by India. Apart from the local elections, the embrace of traditional broadcasters in regions like Australia to incorporate FAST into Broadcaster Video On Demand BVOD service has also contributed to the growth.

General elections are being held in India from April 19 to June 1, 2024 in seven phases. The results will be declared on June 4, 2024. This has increased the general interest in the news. 

Amagi, a cloud-based SaaS technology platform for broadcast and connected TV (CTV), in its 11th edition of the Global FAST Report, shows double-digit growth for the global FAST industry over the last year. Comparing the 10th edition growth rates (Q4 2023 vs. 2022) with the current edition (Q1 2024 vs. 2023), this latest analysis indicates sustained advancement across key metrics, with a notable uptick in channel growth (28% vs. 25%), ad impressions (35% vs. 28%), and hours of viewing (HOV) (42% vs. 26%). 


Repeating last year’s trend, news took the top spot in APAC in terms of both HOV (55%) and ad impressions (64%) this year. In entertainment, a mix of local and Hollywood movie channels drove viewership. Across the region, new channel launches accounted for more than 50% of the channel count during this period. Unlike other regions, kids’ content is a top genre, with animation and anime channels being popular too. 

In terms of specific pockets of growth in the Asia and Pacific (APAC) region, India, Australia, Japan, and Korea are key markets.

The report identifies a robust increase in FAST viewership, with double-digit growth in monthly active users (MAU) across all of Amagi's FAST platforms (ranging from 25-75% YoY). “This growth, which outpaces that of established streaming models like SVOD and AVOD, underscores FAST services as a leading choice for digital entertainment, driven largely by new channel launches,” it states.

Alongside viewership growth, there has been a notable increase in ad impressions, with APAC still showing triple-digit growth. “This trend reflects growing advertiser confidence in FAST platforms as effective advertising mediums,” it says.

The report offers insights derived from more than 50 FAST services and 5,000+ channels using Amagi THUNDERSTORM, the company's server-side ad insertion (SSAI) platform. 

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