Conecta Fiction Analysis: Free Services Dominate Video Streaming; FAST Channels Spread; CTV Poaches Linear Ad Revenues

Attending this year’s Conecta Fiction & Entertainment industry get-together in Toledo, Spain, Omdia Senior Director Maria Rua Aguete addressed a crowd of producers, sales agents, distributors and other industry professionals to discuss global trends in streaming video.

Here are several key takeaways from this morning’s presentation.

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“With over 2.7 billion active users in 2024, YouTube remains the top choice for video content, offering a diverse range of videos that cater to all interests and age groups,” said Rua Aguete.

Not only is YouTube the top platform globally, but Omdia’s data indicates that it’s the most popular platform in every single territory where it’s available.

“YouTube is always the winner everywhere in the world, even in the Middle East,” explained Rua Aguete. “I was there a month ago. Saudi Arabia is the country that consumes more YouTube videos per capita.”


Instagram on the Rise

After YouTube, Instagram is now the second most popular video platform in the U.S., displacing TikTok. It has also passed TikTok globally, excluding China. Meta’s Instagram boasted 1.5 billion users last year, while TikTok hit 1 billion outside of China with another 1.3 billion in the country, where owner ByteDance is famously based.

“Instagram Video is more popular in many countries now than Netflix and more popular than TikTok,” said Rua Aguete. She explained that what people watch on TikTok differs based on territory and that audiences in the U.S. tend to watch news, drama and film-based videos, while in the U.K., music and sports are top categories.

Explaining the surprising rise of the Meta-owned platform, Rua Aguete said, “Instagram’s video features have resonated strongly with American audiences, particularly among younger demographics who favor short-form, visually appealing content.”


As any good analyst does, Rua Aguete looked to the future when discussing FAST revenues, which Omdia predicts will hit $12 billion by 2028. $10 billion of that will be in the U.S., with the other $2 billion coming internationally, led by countries such as the U.K., Canada, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.

FAST Channels (free ad-supported streaming TV) in the U.S. are rapidly gaining popularity, surpassing traditional pay-TV services. In fact, the services are expanding too quickly for the good of most of them.

Currently, there are nearly 2,000 FAST channels in the U.S., more than 600 in the U.K. and not quite 400 in Spain. According to Rua Aguete’s presentation, that is too much of a good thing, and “not all of them will survive; many will disappear.”

Connected TV

CTV (any television set that connects to the internet and can stream digital video content) revenues from advertising are increasingly eating into overall TV ad revenues. In 2023, about 20% of TV ad revenues went to CTV operators, the biggest being Google, Meta and Amazon. That share will double, according to Omdia research, by 2029, surpassing the 40% mark.

Google, Meta and Amazon dominate the CTV marketplace and between them, they control 60% of all online ad revenues worldwide. That said, with the other 40% of the market up for grabs, meaning “There are other players making a lot of money in that connected TV world,” says Rua Aguete.


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