Filter blogs by:

Opportunities build for bundles and FAST services

Industry Insights: Half of all Europeans want the ability to pay multiple subscriptions via one monthly bill, while FAST expands rapidly in EMEA and APAC, and Apple goes big on AI.

tv opportunities FASTEuropean subscription market highlights bundle opportunity

[Stream TV Insider]

A survey of 5000 streaming subscribers across the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy from payment processing company Bango, has revealed some interesting data about common attitudes towards streaming services in Europe. The findings suggest that a combination of price increases, password-sharing crackdowns, and a gloomy macroeconomic future is limiting subscriptions, but perhaps not by as much as has been feared.

The survey finds that European subscribers pay less compared to their US counterparts, a €696 yearly spend compared to €863. They subscribe to less services too, managing 3.2 subscriptions as opposed to the US consumer’s 4.5 (though we should note that while the report focuses on SVOD, it does include data for all types of monthly subscription, even down to food boxes).

Half of Europeans in the survey said they want the ability to pay multiple subscriptions via one monthly bill. Over half (58%) want one app to manage all of their subscriptions and accounts (in Spain, its as high as 67%). This highlights the growing importance of super aggregation and bundling, as we talked about recently, especially given that 19% say they are using pirate streaming services as the only way to access all content in one place.

Here are a couple more key data points surrounding super aggregation:

  • 38% would pay higher bill if a package of popular subscriptions was automatically included
  • 54% would increase loyalty to a brand that offers an all-in-one subscription service
  • 56% would recommend such a service
  • 39% would leave their current provider if this service became available elsewhere


And finally, this is the average spending on subscriptions in each country per subscriptions fast

FAST continues growth trajectory

[TVBEurope, Advanced Television]

The momentum behind FAST shows no sign of stopping just yet.

In the US, the epicenter of the FAST growth in recent years, the total number of unique FAST channels available in May 2024 in the US was 1943. That represents a 13% increase from May 2023, with 225 channels added, and a 47% increase since May 2022, with 624 channels added in two years. 

Interestingly, especially in an election year, the news genre is now the second-largest FAST channel source by volume, with 19% of total volume. General entertainment channels remain the out and out leaders though, accounting for 58% of total channels volume.

The standout performance in the market is undoubtedly that of Warner Bros. Discovery, which launched its first FAST channels in 2023 and is already the largest distributor of general entertainment channels with 46 to its name.

The continued rise of FAST in the US is not only mirrored worldwide, but is also dramatically accelerating, suggesting that the North American market is finally approaching saturation. Looking at the global picture, the number of FAST channels across all platforms grew by 28% from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024, while the number of hours spent watching FAST content rose by 42%.

If anything, the US is acting as a brake on those figures and driving the average down. Here are the figures for the rise in viewing hours during the same period across different territories.

  • US & Canada: 14%
  • LATAM: 65%
  • EMEA: 111%
  • APAC: 172%

Growth in ad impressions closely tracks these figures, with significant gains in LATAM (107%) and APAC (202%). Admittedly these are coming from a lower starting figure where gains can be dramatic and the majority of FAST viewership still takes place in North America, but the rest of the world is catching up fast.


Apple Intelligence introduced and Apple Vision Pro expands


Apple held its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) last week, and it’s hard to think of a more critical one for the company. Wall Street investors have been insistent that it showcases what it has developed with generative AI, as they continue to believe genAI will unlock trillions of dollars in value across multiple industries. Apple therefore announced a ton of new AI features across its ecosystem, from phone to desktop, under the banner ‘Apple Intelligence’.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple has doubled down on its popular push for user privacy, giving the AI tools a distinct flavour as a result. As much as possible will be done on-device, it’s building its own data centres to handle the cloud-based queries, and any integration with third party LLMs such as ChatGPT4o will be obviously signposted and gated.

There are definite caveats here though. These cover exactly when the new tools will arrive (arguably the push from Wall St forced Apple’s hand and it might not be until 2025), and also concern the rather limited number of devices AI will run on. Only Apple silicon-equipped desktops and iPads will be able to host the AI components of the latest software releases, while the iPhone is even more limited to the $999 iPhone 15 Pro that was released last year, as well as, presumably, future as-yet unannounced models.

However, Apple has a long history of taking existing technology and repackaging it in a distinctive Apple way that both improves it and changes the narrative for the rest of the industry. Certainly, the degree of hyper-personalisation that its new Apple Intelligence-powered devices will be capable of could rapidly become something that consumers start to expect and demand elsewhere in their personal device ecosystems. Apple’s stock was up following the announcements as investors envisaged a whole new cycle of buying new devices to get the latest AI tools. 

More immediately, one of the key non-AI WWDC 2024 announcements was that the Apple Vision Pro is going to be made available to eight more countries by the end of July (China mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore this month; Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK in July). So far, the impression is that the $3500 device has underperformed in the US market since launch, but this expansion, coupled with the launch of more capable visionOS 2.0 software, could help give it that little bit more momentum it needs — even if that is mainly as a bridgehead to a cheaper, more mass-market version.

Andy Stout

Andy Stout is a broadcast and technology journalist, who, over longer than he cares to think about, has written for most of the major publications in the industry. He is fascinated by technology and its evolving impact on society, and enjoys bringing an eclectic viewpoint to the Viaccess-Orca blog. He was awarded a First Class BSc from the Open University and lives with his family in Northern Ireland.