Most Viewers - Even On Pay TV - Don't Mind Watching Ads

Roughly 60% of pay-TV users and nearly three-quarters of viewers using free streaming or broadcast platforms don't mind ads, according to the latest video trends report from TiVo.

In TiVo’s Q4 2020 survey of more than 4,500 U.S. and Canadian adults 18 and older, 58% of those using traditional pay TV (cable, satellite, fiber optic) and 61% of those using virtual MVPDs (e.g., YouTube TV, Sling) said they like or don’t mind watching ads while watching TV. 

The vast majority (92%) of pay-TV subscribers said they watch at least one hour of TV per day, and 64% watch more than three hours per day. Nearly half (46%) of vMVPD users, and 41% of free antenna-based broadcast users watch more than three hours per day. 


On the free-versus-paid front, 83% of respondents overall said that canceling paid services and using free, ad-supported services is a good way to save money, 79% said they would rather use free, ad-supported streaming than subscribe to another paid service, and 81% said they wish that paid streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video offered a free, ad-supported option. 

On average, viewers report using about seven different video services: 6.9 among pay-TV subscribers and 6.7 among broadband-only subscribers. That’s up roughly 35% year-over-year, according to TiVo.

Among both pay-TV or broadband-only users, Netflix is the common denominator in the most popular three-video-service bundles (and among the most popular four-service bundles, for that matter). 


Cost-wise, respondents report paying an average $27.72 per month for video services, with pay-TV subscribers paying about $2 less and broadband-only users paying about $5 more.


Other findings include: 

*31% of all respondents said they are interested in viewing new movies at home even after the pandemic is over. 

*83% of overall respondents and 74% of cord cutters said viewing local content is important to them. Those numbers are up 10% and 12%, respectively, from 2019’s survey. 

*92%want the ability to search TV shows and movies across different platforms and sources from a single guide or menu (a favorable finding for TiVo).

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