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Advertising popular with streamers and consumers

August 15, 2023 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

It is becoming increasingly clear that advertising will play a significant role in the streaming ecosystem. As Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors in Disney’s quarterly earnings call, “The advertising marketplace for streaming is picking up.It’s more healthy than the advertising marketplace for linear television. We believe in the future of advertising on our streaming platforms, both Disney+ and Hulu.”

Industry giants are now seamlessly incorporating ad-supported tiers into their streaming options. This shift from the early days of subscription-based, ad free streaming underscores the industry-wide recognition that catering to budget-conscious consumers is integral to achieving sustainable subscriber growth.

New research from HUB, TV Advertising: Fact or Fiction, affirms that most television viewers actively embrace ad-supported offerings. Six out of ten viewers prefer ad-supported subscriptions, especially when presented with the prospect of a reduced monthly fee. Interestingly, those with reservations about advertising remain in the minority, underscoring the widespread acceptance of ads as an primary and tolerable factor of content consumption.

Shifting the paradigm

The transformation in consumer sentiment towards ad-supported subscriptions carries a dual impact. Firstly, it renders ad-supported tiers significantly more appealing to a broader spectrum of viewers, including those who haven’t subscribed previously. Secondly, it reinforces the notion that the quality and diversity of content have a significant influence over viewer preferences. This often outweighs the appeal of a completely ad-free experience. Within the streaming ecosystem, advertising now emerges as a central thread weaving together content variety, affordability, and viewer gratification.

The rising desire for customization

Furthermore, a growing trend in viewer preferences is the desire for enhanced control over subscription tiers. Nearly four out of 10 viewers express a strong inclination towards personalizing their subscription model. They’re searching for a flexible array of choices, ranging from a premium, ad-free encounter to a more budget-friendly alternative featuring strategically placed advertisements. The attraction in customization preferences empowers streaming providers to cater to a broader spectrum of consumer segments.

Entrants that intrigue

Notable platforms like Max, Disney+, and Netflix, which recently embraced ad-supported tiers, are meeting positivity from their audiences. This dispels concerns about potentially hurting your brand in a previously ad-free service due to the introduction of advertisements. Twenty-seven percent of viewers switched tiers. Among them, 60% switched from with ad to no ad tiers, and 46% switched from no ads to with ad tiers.

Enhancing engagement through thoughtful execution

Ensuring a satisfactory viewing experience for consumers creates an environment ripe for advertisers to thrive. When viewers encounter an appropriate amount of advertising content, their engagement levels increase. This principle extends not only to the overall number of ads but also to the duration of ad breaks. Contrary to the notion that advertising detracts from the streaming experience, it possesses the potential to elevate it, capturing viewers’ undivided attention when executed thoughtfully.

The valuable component of ad-supported subscriptions

As viewing sources diversify, ad-supported subscriptions assume a key role within the streaming landscape. Subscribers want the autonomy to mold their subscription expenditure as well as the degree of advertising they’re willing to embrace. In response, streaming platforms offer a dual strategy, presenting ad-supported and ad-free tiers. This shift harmonizes content diversity, affordability, and engagement, shaping the streaming ecosystem.

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