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Survey: 60% of Americans Have Already Made the Switch to Ad-supported Services

Derek Walborn

According to data from a survey conducted by global consumer research platform Pipslay, American consumers are more than happy to ditch ad-free premium streaming services for more economical, ad-supported ones with 60% saying that over the past year they had done just that.

28% of those also said that they had completely switched over to ad-supported platforms, no longer subscribing to any ad-free streaming services whatsoever.

49% of Americans were “extremely satisfied” with the content provided by ad-supported services.

Of the top choices for both paid and ad-supported streaming services, Hulu ranked first with 34%, and Peacock followed with 23%.

It’s an interesting turn of events in the streaming world, since a complete lack of annoying, always-way-too-loud, constantly repeating commercials was a major selling point when streaming platforms were a novel way to view content.

However, as people look to cut costs and trim their budgets with the most intense effects of the pandemic’s stay-at-home regulations in the rearview, suddenly the idea of sitting through the same GEICO commercial eight times in a row as they catch up on their favorite show doesn’t seem like so bad of a tradeoff.

A similar study revealed that almost half of streaming viewers prefer an ad-supported option.

Providers and advertisers are more than happy to follow the trend.

Paramount+ and discovery+ have both found success in providing some savings in the form of ad-supported platform configurations, with Discovery’s CEO referring to their ad-based tier as a “breakout hit.”

NBC’s Peacock also offers an ad-supported option that allows viewers to tune in for $5 less a month than their premium tier. Hulu leaves yet another extra dollar in customers’ pockets by offering its ad-supported subscription plan at $6 less than the version free of commercial interruption.

HBO Max has recently launched an ad-supported version of the service, with built-in efforts to minimize the disruption caused by commercial breaks and the somewhat dystopian promise of “ad-free nights” to reward binge-watching viewers for their continued tolerance of advertising interruptions.

The data regarding customer preferences and satisfaction with regard to advertisements and commercial interruptions shows that what was viewed as an intolerable affront to the viewing experience just a few short years ago has, for many, become a not-so-bad way to save a few bucks but still tune in.

Pipslay said they surveyed over 27,800 people in the U.S. over the past week to generate the data pool used in their report.

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