AVOD viewership is growing fast, according to Comscore
Netflix’s surprise decision to embrace ad-supported streaming is starting to add up, with survey data indicating ad-supported streaming services outpaced their ad-free counterparts with 29% growth v 21% in America.
Ad-supported video services outpace ad-free alternatives as viewers value cost over time
The seismic shift in viewing preferences is documented in the latest Comscore data following an analysis of the market for its latest State of Streaming report.
Advertising has become the most active front in the streaming switchover, with households now viewing an average of 5.4 separate services in March compared to 4.7 the year before, as HBO Max muscles in on the action.
Despite fears that the market has reached saturation point, the number of hours spent consuming streaming content has only increased, with the average household devoting 122 hours to the pastime each month – a rise of 19% from a year prior.
Netflix remains the provider to beat by commanding 43 watch hours, closely followed by YouTube on 39 hours and Hulu at 33 hours. 79% of wifi-enabled households now stream via their connected TVs (CTV), 40% of these being minority ethnic homes.
James Muldrow, vice-president of product management at Comscore, said: “While both ad-supported and subscription-based streaming services are growing in the US, we’re seeing that consumers are being more mindful of their budgets and leaning toward ad-supported services. This makes sense as inflation continues to hit consumers’ wallets. The time is ripe for traditionally subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix to consider launching an ad-supported tier to enhance their growth trajectory.”
Smart TVs remain the bedrock of streaming’s success and are also the fastest-growing segment with a 48% year-on-year increase in devices. Here Samsung is king with a 26% market share, although this is down significantly from its 31% share in 2021 as rivals such as Alcatel/TCL (15%) and Vizio (14%) gain ground.
This findings inform a Comcast recommendation that TV advertisers should allocate as much as 30% of their budgets to streaming, up from an average of around 15% at present, despite the prevalence of viewability fraud on smart devices.