Study: Almost Half of TV Content Viewers in U.S. Use an AVOD Service Monthly

Almost half (46%) of TV content viewers in the United States report using an ad-supported streaming service (AVOD) at least monthly, according to a new study.

Meanwhile, 28% use a free ad-supported TV (FAST) service with ad supported linear channels in addition to their on-demand offerings, according to Horowitz Research’s recent State of Viewing and Streaming 2021 report.

Consumers are using a wide range of ad-supported services with linear content. Pluto TV, Tubi, The Roku Channel app, and IMDb TV are the services consumers report using most often, according to the survey of 2,000 TV content viewers conducted in May.

Streaming is poised to eclipse traditional platforms in terms of share of viewing of long-form TV content, the Horowitz study showed. Among consumers overall, 35% of self-reported time spent is now spent on linear content delivered via a traditional service (cable, satellite, or over-the-air through an antenna), while 37% is spent on streamed content (the rest is spent on cable or satellite-delivered VOD, content that is DVR’d, or DVDs).

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Half (50%) of time spent among 18-34 year olds is on streamed content, while only 18% of their time is spent with traditional, linear content.

Six in 10 (58%) streamers feel that ads are a fair “price” for being able to watch TV content for free or for a small price. Almost four in 10 consumers (38%) are starting to notice — and appreciate the more customized, personalized advertising experience they are getting through streaming.

“Consumers’ love for entertainment content and their desire to get as much of that content as they can for as little as they can hasn’t changed,” noted Adriana Waterston, SVP of insights and strategy for Horowitz. “The fundamentals of the industry haven’t changed. What has changed are the expectations consumers have about how, where and when they can consume the content they love, and the technology that exists to deliver those experiences. When delivered in the screen-agnostic, watch-anywhere, and highly personalized viewing experience of the streaming environment, we are seeing some consumers not just tolerating, but welcoming advertising, particularly when it is customized to their interests.”

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