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Broadband consumers in the US are as likely to not mind advertising on TV (36.7%) as they are to dislike it (36.5%), according to a Q3 2018 survey from Ampere Analysis. The relative acceptance of advertising on TV among consumers in the US (and UK) stands in contrast to respondents in other countries, who tend to dislike TV advertising more than to accept it.

The results relating to US consumers’ attitudes are supported by previous research, which has likewise found that about as many respondents are favorable as unfavorable to TV advertising. Although TV ads are perceived by many to be intrusive, they’re also seen as the most entertaining form of advertising. Perhaps as a result, primary research from MarketingCharts reveals that many recall advertisers on TV, leading to strong purchase influence from TV commercials.

Attitude to TV Advertising Not Correlated With TV Service Choice

Interestingly, a dislike of advertising when watching TV does not appear to affect consumers’ choice of TV services.

Among the US respondents to the Q3 2018 survey wave, 77.1% said that they subscribe to a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, about the same rate as the national average (77.3%). Similarly, respondents who dislike TV advertising were about as likely to subscribe to pay-TV as the overall average of US respondents (66.3% and 68.7%, respectively).

A similar dynamic was observed in the UK, the other market where consumers were split on their receptiveness to TV advertising.

The Ampere analysts note that “overall, what this suggests is that a distaste for advertising is not a direct driver for SVoD uptake, or pay/free TV decline – these are instead determined at a higher level, by service pricing and content availability and quality.”

It’s true that price is the most common reason for cutting the proverbial cord, and that SVOD platforms are gaining the upper hand on traditional TV in content quality perception. But it’s also worth noting that quarterly reports from TiVo consistently find that the lack of commercials or ads are among the top reasons given for using monthly video subscription services.

TV Ads May Affect Service Consumption, Though

Although the presence of ads may not directly correlate with the decision to pay for a video service, commercials may influence which platforms are used more heavily.

Consumers in the US who dislike ads spend 15 minutes less time per day watching on-demand content from pay-TV providers per day than do respondents overall, and 9 minutes less per day watching content on scheduled TV channels.

By contrast, those who dislike ads on TV spend a little bit more time daily watching recorded video from DVR/PVR and also slightly more time watching subscription video-on-demand.

In sum, as Ampere puts it, dislike for ads may not affect subscription behavior, but there is evidence that “it is starting to skew usage habits further towards online video.”

And yet primetime TV ad loads aren’t declining

About the Data: The Ampere Analysis data is based on a Q3 2018 survey of more than 33,000 consumers across 16 territories.

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