Many believe that consumers are fed up with advertisements on streaming as Netflix and other services have trained the next generation of viewers to expect an ad-free experience. But new Morning Consult data shows that, when given the choice, most consumers prefer to deal with advertisements as long as they can pay less.
Respondents were asked if they prefer to subscribe to a low-cost streaming service supported by ads or a high-cost, ad-free streaming service
Consumers overwhelmingly prefer ad-supported streaming services
- When asked to choose between a less expensive, ad-supported service and a more expensive, ad-free service, consumers always preferred the less expensive option, regardless of location.
- South Korean adults (64%) and Russian adults (61%) showed the greatest preference for ad-supported streaming services, while Japanese adults showed the least support (37%). U.S. consumers were also keen on ad-supported services, with 57% saying they prefer them and 27% saying they prefer a service with no ads but at a higher cost.
- Unlike the other surveyed countries, German and Spanish consumers were almost evenly split on their ad preferences. Roughly 2 in 5 Germans (38%) preferred ad-free services, compared to 39% who were in favor of ad-supported services, while 41% of Spanish consumers were in favor of ads and 39% wanted no ads.
The Netflix question
What’s old is new again. Consumers are interested in ad-supported streaming, and entertainment companies have responded by introducing ad-supported tiers at lower prices. The availability of these plans could serve as a major draw for those on the fence about adding on another service.
Most major services, including HBO Max and Disney+, have introduced ad-supported streaming options or have plans to do so in the near future. The big question is Netflix Inc., which has historically been adamant about never including advertisements in its service but has recently softened its stance. Some analysts believe it’s only a matter of time before Netflix abandons its original proposition as an ad-free service and takes advantage of the clear interest in a cheaper, ad-supported version. The data shows there are a lot of eyeballs for the taking.
Surveys conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 999-2,211 adults in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2-3 percentage points.