50.6 per cent US consumers prefer AVOD services: Report

More than half (50.6 per cent) of US consumers prefer using ad-supported video (AVOD) services to reduce or eliminate subscription fees, according to new research from multichannel streaming leader, Future Today, and Variety’s Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP+). Similarly, viewers find the ads shown while streaming are considerably more relevant to their interests compared to those shown on traditional cable or broadcast television.

These findings and insights take an in-depth look at the latest TV viewing behavior and streaming preferences, polling U.S. consumers to identify the emerging trends shaping OTT, advertising, and the broader TV industry.

“Consumer viewing preferences continue to evolve. Streaming has become the de facto source for watching TV shows and movies, but not all services, platforms and models will thrive in this shifting media landscape,” said Future Today co-founder and CEO Vikrant Mathur. “Despite some pundits’ expectations, we’re seeing AVOD adoption flourish, and expect this trend will continue to grow for years to come. Our research solidifies that with the right viewing experience, the ad-supported streaming model is ideal for content owners, brands and, most importantly, audiences.”

“The world of free streaming is in a state of metamorphosis. FAST in particular is very distinct from its first era, but as the findings from the Streaming Study show, the change is not complete,” added Variety Intelligence Platform senior media analyst Gavin Bridge. “Future trends to note will be the involvement of more big media brands as FAST becomes a new distribution strategy for getting content in front of viewers.”

The study also found that consumers are tired of paying for too many subscriptions. More than a third (35.5 per cent) plan to decrease their number of subscriptions in the next six-to-12 months. On average less than 15 per cent of consumers have stopped using a streaming service within the past year.

The Future Today x Variety Intelligence Platform Streaming Study studied numerous topics and compared FAST channels to AVOD to SVOD to traditional TV viewing in a statistically relevant sample of over 1,000 consumers across the United States. The survey was conducted between 15 June and 30 June 2021, as a means of investigating consumer streaming preferences and viewer behavior.

Here are the data highlights:

  • The majority of consumers (67.89 per cent) prefer choosing the individual programs they’d like to watch on an on-demand basis, compared to just 12.5 per cent who prefer pre-programmed, linear channels
  • 50.6 per cent of US consumers prefer using ad-supported video services to reduce costs
  • Streaming ads are twice as likely to be relevant to a viewers’ interests than ads seen on cable or broadcast TV
  • 35.5 per cent of consumers plan to decrease their number of paid subscriptions
  • Of those who have used a free trial in the last 12 months, 41.2 per cent subscribed after the trial ended