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State of the Screens

Will FAST Launch Speed Up YouTube’s Growth?

By May 5, 2022No Comments

YouTube advertising revenue (YoY growth):
1) 2019-Q1 – $3.0B
2) 2020-Q1 – $4.0B (↑ 33%)
3) 2021-Q1 – $6.0B (↑ 49%)
4) 2022-Q1 – $6.9B (↑ 14%)

YouTube users in the U.S. on CTV (% change):
1) Mar-20 – 100M
2) Dec-20 – 120M (↑ 20%)
3) Dec-21 – 135M (↑ 13%)

Big news: YouTube is launching a free ad-supported TV service (FAST) w/ 4K episodes of TV content.

Other players in the FAST space include:
1) Tubi
2) Xumo
3) Plex
4) Roku
5) Vizio
6) Samsung

Why this matters: Many of the pieces of convergent TV (content recommendation, measurement, etc.) are in place, but YouTube relies on user-generated content (UGC), which gets lower CPMs from advertisers (discussed in #249). By offering FAST, they can provide TV-quality video at a fraction of the cost of building out original content.  If YouTube stayed focused (a big “if” with them) and applied their tech to this content, they should generate more ad $ per hour vs. the aforementioned groups.

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.