Worried About Too Many, Or Too Few, Ads On Streamers? That's The Wrong Question

Is ad-supported streaming growing in the face of subscription-only streaming? Maybe not so much. Content interruption is the least of it.

GroupM sees a backlash of streaming ads -- especially when connected to possible consumer data collection, according to a new survey.

At the outset, new streaming consumers conceded buying into CTV -- at a modest subscription price. That meant some advertising was necessary. But still a good deal. And to drive home that selling point, streamers told consumers there would only be four-to-six minutes an hour of non-content program time versus the 14 to 17 minutes via linear TV networks.

Apparently, it might be not enough.

That is because entertainment consumers may have wise up. Those four to six minutes might be packed with technology that allows advertisers to glean private data from users' innermost consumer behaviors.



This isn’t to say consumers aren’t still buying in. But GroupM reckons there is a slight sentiment going in the opposite direction. Will consumers feel somewhat safer behind the protective walls of Netflix or Apple TV+, that profess strong efforts around consumer privacy?

Perhaps now we know why Netflix has resisted the idea of offering any semblance of an advertising option -- even as a separate brand -- to consumers. It opens a door, long-term, where consumers may not want to go.

Speed was necessary to get into this market. New big premium subscription services that launched over the last two and half years needed a quick and dirty way to rapidly grow their business -- whether Peacock, Paramount+, or even HBO Max -- to give consumers all kinds of options.

This includes flexible price options vis-a-vis incorporating some kind of “limited” advertising model. But even then, who is to say that newbie streamers won’t raise prices or -- pack more commercials into their limited advertising options.

This is a new dynamic. Consumers aren’t just seeking less ad interruptions to their content. They are also concerned with what they can't see: the unknown data collection that comes with it.

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