Report: Ad-Supported Streaming Continues to Rise, as 64% of Americans Now Use at Least One AVOD Service
It’s been a long time since TiVo was the biggest name in DVR. The company has certainly evolved since then, and though it still provides DVR services, it also manufactures streaming boxes, accessories, and highly detailed reports about the state of TV viewership in the United States.
On Wednesday, TiVo released a brand new report on fourth-quarter 2022 video trends in the U.S. TiVo’s data holds some interesting insights, but its key statistics reinforce the notion that ad-supported video is continuing to take hold of the streaming video market. The report found that across all sources, American users get their video from an average of 11.6 sources, up from 8.9 in 2021. The number of non-paid, ad-supported sources used has increased 69% in that time.
The percentage of time spent viewing these services has also increased. The TiVo data shows that overall TV hours viewed on average remained steady in Q4 at 4.4 hours per day. Ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD), free ad-supported TV (FAST), and social video made up 23.5% of total viewing time, a big jump from the 10.3% share of viewing that category of video laid claim to at this time last year.
In all, TiVo’s data shows that 63.5% of respondents to its survey were subscribed to at least one AVOD service. That’s up from 60.4% in Q4 of 2021. Users were most interested in AVOD options because of their lower cost, because they have content worth putting up with ads for, and because the AVOD platform in question had content that no other service was offering. Pluto, Tubi, The Roku Channel, and Amazon’s Freevee were among the most-used services cited by customers.
The data from TiVo matches what many other outlets have found: ad-supported streaming is increasingly becoming the new normal. Another survey from February found that 75% of consumers thought of ad-supported streaming as a practical alternative to cable. A report from June of 2022 indicated that ad-supported services were signing up users at a faster rate than services with no ads, and TiVo’s numbers clearly back that up.
TiVo’s numbers also give fascinating insight as to which viewers are most likely to put up with ads. Seventy-four percent of users are ad-tolerant overall, but this number drops to 50.9% when zooming in on Millennials. Both older and younger generations are more ad-tolerant than Millennials, who came of age just as ad-free streaming seemed ready to replace pay TV and other ad-supported TV models once and for all in the early and mid-2010s.
Ad-supported video occupies an important place in the streaming ecosystem. It allows for users to supplement their subscription video services with low-cost alternatives, filling any entertainment gaps. It also gives streaming providers a way to monetize users without charging them directly, providing new revenue streams that can allow for more content creation and better user experiences.