It took a few years, but consumers are warming to the idea of commercial breaks in exchange for free programming on streaming services.
That’s the gist, at least, of a new report from TiVo.
The report focused on streaming and found that American consumers had an average of 10 video services each and the higher the viewer’s annual income, the greater number of streaming services they had. (Ten might sound like a lot, but think of the video services you subscribe to.)
TiVo found the most common were Amazon’s Prime Video, YouTube, Netflix, Disney Plus and cable TV. Of those, one is free (YouTube) and the rest are paid.
Subscribing to so many services gets expensive, and 54% of respondents said they wished their SVOD (subscription video on-demand services) offered a free, ad-supported option, and 56% said they would rather use AVOD (advertising video on demand) streaming services than subscribe to another paid service. But 41% also said they would be willing to pay for an ad-free version of AVODs.
I can relate to that split. I live in a cord-cutter household and while I enjoy watching TV without ads (Netflix—for now, at least, and HBO Max), I also watch TV with ads and don’t mind them that much. Maybe I’m conditioned from decades of watching broadcast TV, but it also comes down to money.
For instance, I watch programming on ABC’s app for free and the ads don’t bother me because I know I’m not paying for the programming. To me, it seems like a good deal.
For others, who can’t tolerate advertising, I suggest they pay a premium. Over time, they may do the math and consider that sitting through a minute or two of pitches for every eight minutes or so of programming. Like me, they may find they’re happy enough going back and forth between premium programming and free programming with the occasional commercial break.