Report: HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, More Streamers Saw 42.2M Ad-Supported Sign-ups in 2021
With more streaming subscription choices than ever, Antenna’s “Year in Streaming Report” shows that viewers increasingly opted for less expensive, ad-supported subscriptions in 2021 than in prior years.
The recent data from Morning Consult also confirms this as customers prefer to pay $10 for an ad-supported subscription. The bottom of the acceptable price range was $8 per month with the upper end closer to $14.
Even though Antenna only includes five services with an ad-supported option in the category (discovery+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, and Peacock), ad-supported plans accounted for 32% of all Premium SVOD sign-ups in 2021, versus just 19% in 2020.
Additionally, total ad-supported sign-ups grew +117% year-over-year, from 19.4M in 2020 to 42.2M in 2021.
The jump in ad-supported sign-ups translated to a +3pt increase in the share of total premium SVOD subscriptions on ad-supported plan tiers, from 19% in 2020 to 22% at the end of 2021.
In addition, Antenna data indicates that most Hulu, Paramount+, and Peacock subscribers are signed up for the ad-supported tiers of each service.
On the other hand, discovery+ has a lower proportion of subscribers on its ad-supported tier, likely due to the fact that it charges consumers a smaller price premium to go ad-free, which is an extra $2 per month. Paramount+ and Peacock charge an additional $5/month whereas Hulu’s ad-free subscription is $6 more per month than its ad-supported tier.
In June 2021, HBO Max launched its ad-supported option. The company chose not to include access to the Warner Bros. day-and-date films that were available on the higher-cost tier. By year-end, 8% of subscribers were on the ad-supported plan.
According to a Hub Entertainment Research study from July 2021, 40% of current subs would think about switching to HBO Max’s ad-supported tier and a quarter of target non-subscribers would consider signing up thanks to the lower-priced option.
Vikrant Mathur, CEO and Co-Founder of Future Today stated, “… 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.”