More Than Half of Viewers are Happy to Watch Ads in Exchange for Free Content

While ad breaks are seen as somewhat of a pain, it turns out viewers don’t really mind putting up with them in exchange for free content. New data from Conviva’s State of Streaming Advertising shows that 56% of people are happy to watch ads if it means getting a streaming service for free. (Examples of free, ad-supported streaming services include Peacock, The Roku Channel, Tubi, and more.) That being said, 75% of viewers admit to skipping the ad when the option is available, like on a YouTube video for instance.

The real problem viewers have with ads seem to be when they’ve already paid for a streaming service and are getting irrelevant or repetitive advertisements. Almost 60% of viewers think there are too many streaming ads that get repeated while they’re watching the same episode, or even worse, within the same commercial break. What’s more, 54% abandon the stream altogether if an ad takes too long to load, with 19% walking away from the content if the ad has just a 5-second delay. Only 36% of viewers are satisfied with advertising on streaming overall. In this case, advertisers really miss out on the exposure, as well as creating a poor connotation with the viewer.

Viewers want relevant and personalized ads without feeling too intrusive, and free streaming services seem to be delivering the best experience, or at least from the viewers’ perspective. Consumers who agreed they were happy to watch some ads in return for free streaming services were 255% more likely to be satisfied with advertising on streaming services than those who disagreed.