Most TV Viewers Say They’re Tolerant of Ads

November 3, 2022

Netflix has unveiled its ad-supported tier, signaling a shift in the streaming landscape. As more viewers flock to free ad-supported (FAST) services, new data [download page] from TiVo indicates that, broadly speaking, viewers are tolerant of advertising.

The research surveyed more than 4,500 adults in the US and Canada to uncover trends across the TV industry. The majority (58.3% share) identified as “ad-tolerant,” while an additional 19.1% share identified as “ad-favorable.” In fact, almost as many identified as “ad-favorable” as “ad-averse” (22.7%).

In sorting the respondents, the results indicate that aversity to ads is slightly higher among pay-TV subscribers than among broadband-only subscribers, with the latter more likely than the former to be ad-tolerant.

As it stands, more than one-quarter of respondents who watch AVOD/FAST services say that they do so because they’re willing to watch ads for the content, but not pay for it. Overall, 61% of respondents said they actively watch at least one AVOD/FAST service, and 80% wish their paid services offered a free ad-supported option.

As regards ads themselves, the report finds that more respondents notice interactive video ads than shrink video ads, ad banners, and QR codes. Notably, while pay-TV subscribers are more likely to say they’re ad-averse than broadband-only subscribers, they were far more apt to say they noticed each of these ad types (perhaps owing to greater exposure to them).

In terms of actual engagement, some 21.7% of adults surveyed said they have used their phone to scan a QR code in a TV show or commercial, while a similar proportion (22.3%) have tapped on an interactive commercial on their smartphone or tablet.

Other Findings:

  • Perceived content quality is highest for SVOD services, followed by vMVPD, pay-TV and then AVOD/FAST services. However, compared to Q4 2021, this Q2 2022 report finds a slight increase in quality perception for AVOD/FAST amid a decrease for each of the other service types.
  • About 6 in 10 respondents consider local content to be important. Pay-TV services are the top method for watching local content, and pay-TV subscribers spend a greater share of their time watching local content than broadband-only subscribers.
  • 1 in 4 pay-TV subscribers report being “pay-TV revivers,” who at one point cut the cord but have since resubscribed.
  • A large library of programming (46.4%) is the top reason why recent streaming subscribers have subscribed to a new SVOD service, followed by good original programming (37.5%) and then by a desire to watch a specific show or movie (35.8%).
  • The top way that respondents discover new TV shows and/or movies are through commercials or ads that run during other TV shows, ahead of word of mouth and friends informing them of new shows they like.

For more, download the study here.

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