FAST Services Taking Hold in Black Households: Horowitz Research

Horowitz Research
(Image credit: Horowitz Research )

Black viewers are viewing free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) and subscription video-on-demand services in numbers well above the overall consumer average, according to a new Horowitz Research study.

More than 80% of Blacks have used a free OTT service over the past month, up from 13% from 2019 and compared to 69% for consumers overall, according to the Horowitz Focus Black Volume 1: Subscriptions survey. FAST channels are helping to drive consumption, with 45% of Black TV content viewers using services such as Pluto TV and Tubi TV at least once in the past month, compared to 35% of total market consumers.

Also, seven in 10 Black viewers subscribe to at least one SVOD service, led by Netflix and Prime Video, according to the survey. Further, 60% of Black viewers surveyed say that the showcasing of Black-focused content is important to the adoption and usage of streaming services, with such Black-targeted SVOD services as BET Plus, Black World Cinema, Zeus and ALLBLK leading the charge, according to the survey. 

In addition, two in three Black subscribers to MVPD or vMVPD services give favorable ratings to their provider’s selection of channels geared towards Black audiences, Horowitz said. 

The survey of 643 Black TV content viewers 18 years and older was conducted in January and February of 2023, Horowitz said.

“This is an audience hungry for content, which drives higher consumption across a wide variety of platforms and services,” Horowitz Research chief revenue officer and insights & strategy lead Adriana Waterston said. “This is an audience hungry for content, which drives higher consumption across a wide variety of platforms and services. In today’s fragmented media ecosystem, offering a broad array of content that represents the diversity of Black experiences, lifestyles, cultures and communities is an important way for media companies to super-serve this important audience and keep them engaged.” 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.