Consumers Still Favor Free, Ad-Supported TV

TV viewers still prefer -- by a slight margin -- free, ad-supported TV platforms and networks over subscription ad-free monthly services. But the fast-forwarding option is key.

Some 51% of those surveyed by Hub Entertainment Research prefer TV free with advertising -- as long as they have the ability to skip or fast-forward advertising. This drops to 43% with fast-forwarding disabled.

Hub’s research comes from a August survey of 1,612 U.S. TV viewers ages 16-74 years old who have broadband at home.

Even with the ability to skip commercials by fast-forwarding, 40% prefer ad-free monthly subscription services, with 9% saying they prefer to pay-per-show/season with no advertising.

When asked their preference of a TV service with no fast-forwarding options, these numbers go up for ad-free services. There is a 46% approval of ad-free monthly subscription services, while 11% say they would prefer paying-per-show/season with no advertising.

Sharing of personal information with TV providers to secure more “relevant ads” didn’t reveal a strong positive result.

Research shows that 41% are “completely unwilling,” 26% are “somewhat willing,' 22% are “somewhat unwilling” and 12% “completely willing."

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