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65% of US TV viewers will tolerate ads for free content, according to report

By John Glenday | Reporter

April 22, 2022 | 4 min read

A new report commissioned by Tivo put the proportion of the US public willing to tolerate commercials in return for free TV at 65%.

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On average consumers were found to subscribe to 3.5 streaming services

The all-in-one provider, which marries live, recorded and streaming television, quizzed 4,500 viewers across North America to arrive at its findings, which will add further fuel to the fire of what role advertising has to play in streaming.

The TiVo video trends report covered the fourth quarter of 2021, eliciting from its participants that 56% would rather turn to another advertising video on demand (AVOD) service than sign up for yet another paid subscription.

In a sign of our cost-consious times, consumers are more willing than ever to revisit the commercial break – a tradition that had seemed to have fallen by the wayside in the impatient streaming era. No less than 54% of all who responded to TiVo expressed a desire for a free ad-supported tier from their provider of choice.

On the flipside, however, some 40% remain militantly opposed to advertising in any form, actively seeking out ad-free streaming providers to reward with their custom, suggesting society is just as split as the industry itself on the issue.

Spanning hot button issues relating to pay-TV, network apps, devices and content discovery, the report found that the average number of services engaged by respondents was 8.9, with pay-TV customers leading the way on 9.7 while broadband-only subscribers make do with 6.7.

On average consumers were found to subscribe to 3.5 streaming services, stumping up $42.03 per month for the privilege. Ominously, some 25% reported being minded to cancel one or more services within the next six months, tallying with recent research from the Trade Desk indicating most households planned to cap spending in this area at £20 per month.

The fast-shifting sands of consumer sentiment has seen market leader Netflix rapidly reposition itself to embrace a future advertising model as it seeks new income streams to offset millions of lost subscribers.

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