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Free Ad-supported Streaming TV Services Continue to Gain Traction, Used in 6 of 10 TV Homes

Aubrey Meister

Many people have decided to cut the cord and switch over to streaming services for a number of reasons. One of the big draws of streaming is the lack of commercials. Now, several recent studies have shown that consumers actually don’t mind ads, especially when they allow them to stream for free or cheap.

In the streaming world, there are different types of services, and they each have their own acronyms, which can become confusing. Free, ad-supported streaming-TV services (FASTs) allow consumers to stream for free, but they must watch ads.

Nearly half of streamers prefer ad-supported services. A recent study from TiVo shows that 81% of consumers would rather use a free ad-supported service than subscribe to another paid service.

A new report from TDG Research shows that six in 10 connected TV homes are using FASTs. 24% of connected TV households use FASTs daily, 32% use them weekly, and 44% use them every month or less often.

76% of connected TV homes watch YouTube, which is outperforming its competitors. YouTube has an audience that’s twice as big as its competitors. In the second quarter, YouTube’s ads brought in the same amount of revenue as Netflix subscriptions.

The report’s author, TDG Senior Analyst Doug Montgomery, believes that there is “widespread confusion” surrounding ad-supported streaming services. While consumers are drawn to ad-supported services, they might not be using the right ones.

Though consumers are using FASTs in their homes, they don’t necessarily prefer them to other streaming services. Pluto TV and Tubi are the most popular FASTs, but only one in eight Pluto and Tubi users said these were their top picks for streaming shows.

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