Survey: 60% of Americans Have Switched to Ad-Supported Streaming Services This Year

When streaming services were still a brand new option in home entertainment, one of the biggest draws was ad-free viewing. Netflix’s library was (and still is) uninterrupted by commercials, which was new and exciting coming fresh off a cable experience. But as the landscape continues to evolve, viewers are placing less priority on eliminating advertisements from their binge sessions and more on the content itself. This stays consistent with previous data that shows 56% of people are happy to watch ads if it means getting a streaming service for free.

Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and more are all streamers who are thriving using a two-tier model that lets users choose between an ad-supported and premium experience. Piplsay recently polled 27,800 Americans to get a better look at how many consumers are opting for ad-free compared to ad-supported viewing, and results show that the majority of viewers stream ad-supported content. According to the survey, 31% of streamers view a mix of premium and free services, with only 19% opting for a solely premium, ad-free subscription. A total of 32% watch their content on either paid or free ad-supported platforms.

In addition, more and more viewers are switching from their premium subscriptions to other ad-supported options. In fact, 60% of Americans have changed to paid or free ad-supported services this past year alone.

However, it’s possible that the switch is just a phase occurring during the pandemic. The poll results indicate the majority (54%) of those who switched plans to go back to ad-free streaming services in the future. 26% percent plan to return to ad-free content in the next 2-3 months, while 17% plan to make the switch in the next 4-6 months. And 11% say they plan to opt for ad-free services again after 6 months from now.