Today Nielsen released its State of Play report looking at the state of streaming and TV as a whole. In that report, Nielsen broke down the number of free live channels on services like Pluto TV, Xumo Play, The Roku Channe, Tubi, and more. According to Nielsen, there are 1,073 free channels in the United States, 206 in the U.K., Germany has 108 free channels, and other areas have 37. In total, that is 1,434 free live channels on these services.
“Given the speed in which FAST channels can be developed and launched, industry stats about how many actual FAST channels exist are varied. As of June 2023, Gracenote Video Data had a record of 1,400+ individual FAST channels in its database, with 1,050+ of them available in the U.S.” Nielsen said in its State of Play Report.
Most of these services average just a few hundred channels. Some channels may be on multiple services, but each service offers something special that the others do not have.
“Available to audiences via internet connection without a paid subscription, FAST channels are ad-supported, and they lean into a trend that isn’t discussed much in the industry press: the appeal of classic TV. Compared with traditional SVOD services, which typically offer a mix of high-profile originals and titles acquired from other sources, FAST channels are predominantly set up to showcase library content—programming that originally aired somewhere else (usually on traditional TV). ” Nielsen went on to say.
This comes as cord cutters are cutting back on what they pay for as they look to free options to fill the gap. Recently, we asked over 500 of our readers how many TV streaming services they paid for, and 58% of our readers said they paid for three or fewer streaming services. In this poll, we clearly said this was for paid streaming services, so no free services and only TV services, so no music services, for example.
Here is how the poll broke down:
- 0 Services 3%
- 1 Sevices 14%
- 2 Services 19%
- 3 Services 22%
- 4 Services 19%
- 5 Services 10%
- 6 Services 3%
- 7 or More Services 10%
When you add in the cord cutters who pay for four services, 77% of cord cutters pay for four or fewer streaming services. This means that if you pay for five or more services, you are part of a small minority and could be considered part of a super user group.
With over 1,000 options you can see why many are looking at services like Pluto TV, Tubi, Xumo Play to fill the gap.