Report: 35% of U.S. Consumers Have Tried AVOD During Pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to alter home entertainment consumer patterns. New data from video advertising platform Unruly found that 42% of survey respondents are watching more Internet-connected television, including 35% consuming ad-supported VOD content.

Unruly, which is part of Tremor International, surveyed nearly 1,800 U.S. consumers online in July 2020 for this study.

AVOD services include Pluto TV, Tubi, IMDb TV, The Roku Channel, Shout! Factory TV, Samsung TV and Redbox TV, among others.

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But as connected TV content consumption continues to accelerate, marketers are trailing behind with their media plans, according to the report. This year, eMarketer reports that 3.4% of U.S. marketers’ total ad spending will go on CTV — and that is only forecasted to grow to 4.7% in 2023.

Regardless, Unruly found that CTV advertising performs better among consumers than linear TV. After seeing an ad on TV, compared to linear TV viewers, ad-supported CTV users are reportedly 71% more likely to tell a friend about a brand; 53% more likely to search for a brand; 48% more likely to have an improved opinion of the brand; 52% more likely to buy a product; and 45% more likely to visit a store or website.

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As the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of CTV, 79% of survey respondents said they would continue watching ad-supported streaming services. Despite ongoing growth of SVOD, 73% of survey respondents said they would prefer to watch their favorite TV show for free with ads rather than pay for an ad-free access.

Another 65% said they “actively” seek ways to watch TV programs and films free of charge; 74% of 35-44 year-old respondents said they look for ad-supported TV content, followed by 71% of the 45-54 demo and 63% of the 55+ demo.

Another 64% of respondents said they plan to reduce the amount they pay for TV services — 44% plan to do so by reducing paid subscriptions and 42% plan to cancel cable TV.

“U.S. consumers’ pivot to CTV is an opportunity for brands to reach audiences at scale in a highly targeted, personalized way that has, until now, not been possible,” Terence Scroope, VP of insights and solutions at Unruly, said in a statement.

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