Analysis: 76% of Peacock Customers Use Ad-Supported Tier, Only 21% on HBO Max
Ad-supported streaming is very much the latest craze in the streaming industry. Big-name streamers like Netflix and Disney+ both brought their new ad-supported plans to market this fall, and one recent report predicted that every major service will have a lower-priced tier with ads by the end of 2023.
A recent report from industry research firm Antenna shows which services are seeing customers signup for ad-supported tiers more frequently. The survey found that Peacock is by far the industry leader when it comes to ad-viewing users, with 76% of its total U.S. subscriber base on an ad-supported plan.
The dataset doesn’t distinguish how it categorizes Peacock users who have the ad-supported Premium subscription as part of their Comcast Xfinity internet or cable service. Still, it is the largest proportion of ad-supported versus ad-free users on a platform by a wide margin. The next-highest percentage of ad-watching users on any service is Hulu, where 57% of customers are signed up for the ad-supported plan.
One factor that may help Peacock transition more customers to its $9.99 per month ad-free Premium Plus tier is the addition of live streams of local NBC stations around the U.S. Paramount+ offers users a similar choice, in that its highest-priced tier offers live feeds of local CBS stations. That division of features has helped raise the number of users on Paramount+’s Premium tier to 56%, up from the 33% that were signed up for the option in 2019, when it was still known as CBS All Access.
Another factor that will could help Peacock bring in more Premium Plus-level users is its plan to stop offering Xfinity customers a free Peacock subscription. This will undoubtedly cause some to leave the service for good, but it will also likely bring new subscribers to the ad-free tier when they decide they might as well go all the way if they’re going to have to pay to keep the Peacock programming anyway.
Antenna’s analysis shows that services that launched from day one with an ad-supported tier (or, in Hulu’s case, launched ad-free, but introduced an ad-supported option many years ago) have much higher share of subscribers selecting the ad-supported option. Users who have grown accustomed to seeing content without ads are more likely to stick with that arrangement. That explains why HBO Max, which offers an ad-supported tier for $5 less than its ad-free option, still sees 79% of its users opt to watch without ads.
The HBO Max numbers are even more surprising when its’ ad-supported customers report being pleased with their service. A whopping 92% of HBO Max with ads subscribers claim they are “satisfied” with their service, although that number may decrease once HBO Max carries out a recently announced plan to put ads within HBO originals. Previously, HBO originals came ad-free on both price tiers of the service.
Ad-supported streaming is considered the next logical evolution of the industry, and it’s easy to see why. Services that offer both ad-free and ad-supported price plans see better customer retention rates, and drive more new sign-ups as well. Thanks to Antenna’s newly released research, there is now more insight into which services are drawing more customers to their ad-supported tiers and why.
HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals. Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like “The Last of Us,” “House of the Dragon,” “Succession,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and more.
HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for US$9.99 and ad-free plan for US$15.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.
All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.
You can choose to add HBO Max as a subscription through Amazon Prime Video.7-Day Trial
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Poker Face” and “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
Peacock includes news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.
Peacock also includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.” They also include live and on-demand access to Hallmark channels.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.