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Samsung: Canadians flocking to free streaming TV services

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used a FAST service over the past 30 days, according to the electronics giant.

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used a FAST service over the past 30 days, according to the electronics giant.

A TV fan watches a streaming sports channel through Samsung TV Plus. (Courtesy image)
A TV fan watches a streaming sports channel through Samsung TV Plus. (Courtesy image, Graphic by The Desk)

Nearly half of Canadian television households are using at least one free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service on the regular, according to a new report from Samsung.

This week, Samsung Ads Canada released a consumer survey that revealed 6 out of 10 Canadians have watched FAST content within the past seven months, and nearly one-third of those viewers have tapped into FAST within the past 30 days.

Forty-nine percent of people surveyed by Samsung Ads Canada reported using FAST channels on the regular, according to the report, which claims Samsung’s own FAST service, Samsung TV Plus, is the dominant FAST platform in the country.

Samsung TV Plus offers more than 150 FAST channels in Canada ranging from news, sports, general entertainment, movies, music and kid’s programming. Those channels include simulcasts of FAST content streams from the United States like Conan O’Brien TV, NBC News Now, MotorTrend FAST, LOL! Network, Comedy Dynamics and Animation Plus, along with region-specific channels like CBC News Explore, The Weather Network and CTV at Home.

The survey comes at a time when more Canadians are signing up for streaming services, following a trend that media and entertainment companies have sought to address in the United States and Mexico as well. Revenue from connected TV services increased 14 percent to CA $3.73 billion (about U.S. $2.71 billion) last year, according to Convergence Research.

While a good chunk of that revenue is attributed to subscription sales, Canadians are increasingly turning to ad-supported tiers of programming offered by services like Netflix, Prime Video and Disney Plus. They are also picking FAST platforms that are free to access and supported entirely by advertisements.

“For consumers, FAST is TV,” Justin Fromm, Samsung Ads’ head of insight, said in a statement this week. ” As the seismic shift from linear to streaming continues to rise in Canada, FAST is becoming the new entertainment platform that gives viewers access to premium content – without subscription fees – when, how, and where they want it. As more content becomes available, we anticipate FAST flourishing in the marketplace, similarly to the U.S.”

According to Samsung, movies are among the most-watched FAST channels, followed by comedy and live news streams. More than one-third of Canadians are regularly using FAST platforms that are integrated into their TV sets. Samsung is the largest seller of smart TV sets in the country.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.

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