As consumers increasingly turn to streaming video services to watch their TV content, they are open to both ad-free subscription services and ad-supported offerings.
That is one takeaway from a new poll commissioned by the programmatic ad exchange OpenX, and connected by The Harris Poll.
The survey found that a majority — a slim one of 54% — say they preferred a cheaper or free service that was supported by ads, compared to a more expensive ad-free service. In fact, 70% of respondents said they would approve of a lower-cost tier for Netflix that was ad-supported.
“One promising sign for advertisers is that nearly three-quarters of all OTT users say they understand there is a trade-off between watching free content and having advertisers use their data to serve ads,” Dallas Lawrence, Chief Brand Officer at OpenX, tells Digital News Daily.
“If the OTT ecosystem grows as larger as we think it can become — essentially, the de facto way every American views video content — there will be a range of different successful business models. Having diversity available for consumers will grow the market,” says Lawrence.
The survey also found consumers were receptive to ads viewed through OTT platforms, with 72% of viewers recalling ads and 40% saying they paused a show to learn more about a product or service.
“If we have seen anything in advertising over the years, it’s that ad dollars follow the eyeballs,” Lawrence adds. “Mobile is a great example, where people predicted it would be ‘the year of mobile’ for five straight years. But rather than having it happen all at once, ad dollars slowly just started shifting there, until mobile became the channel where the most ad dollars are spent.
"The same thing will likely happen in OTT, where advertisers will have no other choice but to start spending there.”