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Study Shows 81% of Users Want a Free Ad-Supported Tier of Netflix or Prime Video

Stephanie Sengwe

As new streaming services have come into the space with all kinds of payment models, one thing Netflix has always maintained was the fact that they would never put ads on their platform. Last January, company CEO Reed Hastings stated that he sees no need to even venture into putting ads on Netflix seeing as though providers such as Amazon, Google and Facebook dominate that space.

“We’ve got a much simpler business model, which is just focused on streaming and customer pleasure,” Hastings added. “So we think with our model that we’ll actually get to larger revenue, larger profits, larger market cap because we don’t have the exposure to something that we’re strategically disadvantaged at…” Hastings stated at the time.

Well, it looks like consumers are saying something different. In TiVos latest Trends Report, they found out that 81% of respondents wish that paid streaming services such as Netflix or Prime Video offered a free, ad-supported tier. TiVo’s findings are in line with several other studies that have come out recently revealing that people are gravitating more towards AVODs.

The company discovered that 79% of people said they would opt for a free, ad-supported service rather than subscribe to another paid service, with 83% saying cancelling paid services and using AVODs is a good way to save money.

As the pandemic has altered so much of our lives, one big industry that has been affected is movie theaters, and the disruption has forced media companies to put their films on streaming services. According to TiVo’s study, 29% of survey respondents said they are interested in paying to view a new movie release at home rather than going to a theater during the pandemic and 31% say they would be interested in this option even after the pandemic is over. However, 51% of respondents stated they are not interested in paying to view new movie releases at home now and 45% said they wouldn’t be interested after the pandemic either.

Similar to recent findings from a Tubi study which stated that one in five people (21%) between the ages of 18-34 cancelled their SVOD subscription because of COVID-19, TiVo also found that 15% of people said they cancelled at least one SVOD due to their COVID-19 circumstances.