Best days of ad-supported TV may lie ahead | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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As Netflix’s growth stalls and as it follows suit with rival streamers by prepping an ad-supported tier, the prospects for such free ad-supported TV (FAST) solutions may actually be even better than their vendors think with viewers’ tolerance for ads higher than received wisdom suggests.
HUb FAST 28July2022
This is the key finding of a study by Hub Entertainment Research which noted that even though in its history Netflix has made many conclude the days of TV with ads was over, the FAST market was growing faster than any other platform category.

The research found that viewers use at least one ad-supported TV source (including cable or broadcast) (95%) than ad-free (79%). And more than half of viewers say they would choose a platform with ads if it saved them as little as $4-$5. And even among those who described themselves as “intolerant” of ads, 30% said they would choose an ad-supported platform if it saved money.

Indeed, the study found that avoiding ads was no longer a primary driver of how people watch. When the study asked those who had recently signed up for an ad free platform why they subscribed, 36% mentioned lack of ads. But more mentioned exclusive shows (41%), library selection (38%) and value for the money (42%). Overall, content was the most important variable, and current shows on ad-supported platforms were seen as just as desirable as what’s available on their more expensive ad-free siblings.

Another key trend revealed was that connected TV advertising offered a fundamentally different experience. The survey suggested that the assumed view of people not liking ads was a throwback to linear TV. Ads on streaming platforms were seen as a different proposition with lower ad loads, fewer breaks, potentially offering more ads for products that were more relevant to the viewer. Viewers who watched ad-supported shows on streaming platforms were much more likely to say the ad load was “reasonable” and are also more likely to say they enjoyed the show they watched.

"Several stars have aligned to spur growth of ad-supported streaming platforms. The obvious benefit is that they cost less. But the ad experience on connected TVs is much better than regular TV,” remarked Hub founder and principal Jon Giegengack. “Most important, there’s no compromise on content: tiered subscriptions make the same content available with or without ads. As viewers feel the bite of inflation, many will consider paying less (or even nothing) for good content a no-brainer.”