TV With Or Without Ads? It Depends On Delivery: Study

When it comes to ad-supported TV platforms and networks versus ad-free TV services, one study says the decision is still mixed -- essentially a hung jury.

More than half (57%) of respondents of a recent poll say they can tolerate “some ads,” with 17% saying they can’t tolerate any advertising. Another 26% say “content matters more than ads.”

This is according to a June 2021 Hub Entertainment Research study of 3,001 U.S. consumers age 14-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week.

The picture is cloudier when considering price: 58% of respondents say they would switch to an ad-supported platform if they could save $4 to $5 a month. The other 42% say that even with a $4 to $5-a-month saving, they rather pay more to avoid advertising.

The research also indicated a mixed result for leading streamer Netflix.

When asked whether Netflix offered a new ad-supported tier with pre-roll ads, 54% of the respondents said they would keep the “ad-free” plan, while 46% said they would switch.



Results were not substantially different when more advertising time was added -- with mid-roll messaging to pre-roll ads, 61% said they would keep the ad-free version, while 39% would switch to ad-supported platforms..

Still, Hub says it depends on the service: “What’s clear from these findings is that what matters to consumers is not whether ads are included in the content they watch, but how ads are delivered.”

The study notes while nearly all TV consumers (95%) watch at least one ad-supported source, a majority (79%) also watch at least one ad-free TV source,

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