New Survey Suggests Fee, Ad Limits Among U.S. OTT Video Consumers

A majority of survey respondents (59%) are not willing to pay more than $20 a month for over-the-top video services, according to new data from more than 2,600 U.S. consumers by The Trade Desk. Another 75% of consumers will not pay more than $30 a month.

The online survey was conducted by YouGov from Nov. 19-21, 2019, with a total sample size of 2,613 adults in the U.S.

As more TV content providers launch streaming services in 2020, the results highlight the subscription fatigue threshold for TV streaming services, where on-demand movies, TV shows and live events can be accessed by connected devices such as smart TVs and mobile devices.

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“With consumers experiencing subscription fatigue and unwilling to subscribe to more than one or two premium services, broadcasters have to figure out how to continue to fund this new golden age of TV,” Brian Stempeck, chief strategy officer of The Trade Desk, said in a statement.

More than half of U.S. households (53%) subscribe to Netflix, followed by Amazon Prime Video (43%) and Disney-owned Hulu (29%).

In addition, with some media companies pushing ad-supported VOD, the survey found the leading cause of frustration with ads is having to watch the same commercial repeatedly (cited by 46% of respondents).

More than half (53%) of U.S. consumers would be open to watching ads (every other episode of their favorite show) if it meant lowering the cost of subscription streaming services.

More than two-thirds (68%) of U.S. consumers (with no preference to tailored TV ads) would be willing to watch ads relevant to their interests if it meant watching fewer ads overall.

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More than half (51%) of respondents who watch new episodes of their streaming TV show on an app, after it premieres, watch on a smart TV.

As more U.S. consumers watch TV content via streaming services, content providers are under pressure to produce new premium content that drives membership and viewership. This research suggests, however, that there are hard limits to consumer appetite for subscription-based services.

The survey indicates a willingness from consumers for streaming services supported by ads, particularly if the format and pacing of commercial breaks differ from traditional TV content.

More than half (53%) of respondents are willing to watch ads every other episode to lower their monthly costs on a device that doesn’t show any ads. Forty percent of consumers would prefer ads tailored to their interests and preferences, but, among those who said they wouldn’t, that number increases to more than two-thirds (68%) if it meant they would see fewer ads.

Despite the mobile nature of streaming apps, consumers have shown they still prefer to view content on the largest screen in their home – the television. More than half (51%) of those consumers who watch new episodes of their favorite shows on an app after it premieres watch a TV show on their connected televisions, rather than a mobile device or on their personal computer.

“This [research] indicates that ads will fund the future of streaming TV, and that broadcasters and advertisers have an opportunity to improve the advertising experience in a way that simply is not possible with traditional, linear TV,” Stempeck said.

 

No Surprise: Millennials Love Netflix

At a time when media companies rapidly deploy over-the-top video platforms, and pay-TV operators scramble to embrace Netflix to appease cord-cutting Millennials (ages 18-34), new YouGov data finds the demo enthusiastically embraces the SVOD behemoth.

In a survey from September 2017 through August of this year, 75.6% of Millennials recalled both hearing something good about Netflix in the past two weeks and discussing the brand with friends or family members within the same time period.

Runner-up was Facebook, with 75.1% of respondents having both heard something positive about the social network and discussed the brand with friends or family members. Facebook-owned Instagram (69.0%) came in fifth place, with a slightly higher percentage than YouTube (68.9%) and Snapchat (68.8%), according to YouGov.

The Apple iPhone (71.1%) came in fourth place, behind retail behemoth Walmart (73.6%).

Three brands — Victoria’s Secret, McDonald’s, and Chick-fil-A — tied for eighth place, with 66.8% of young adults reporting they came across positive information pertaining to each one around the same time they discussed the particular brand.

Among consumer brands generating the most improvement among Millennials, Dunkin’ Donuts had the biggest rise, climbing from 53.7% in 2017 to 59.7% in 2018. The chain, which just announced it would drop “Donuts” from its brand name in 2019, offering customers the ability to place their order via smartphone.

 

Netflix Ranked No. 2 TV Network in Popularity

Netflix is ranked the second most-popular TV network behind Discovery Channel, according to new data from YouGov.

In a survey of more than 5,500 adults through May 28, Redwood City, Calif.-based YouGov found 76% of respondents viewed Netflix favorably — about the same as Discovery Channel.

Other channels in the Top 10 included National Geographic Channels, History, The Weather Channel, Animal Planet, PBS, AMC Networks, A&E Networks and FX. TNT, HBO, ABC, CBS ranked 12th-15th, respectively.

The findings come as support for the subscription streaming video pioneer has fallen 16% among Republicans, while increasing 15% among Democrats.

While Netflix has largely avoided politics, it’s two most prominent executives — Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos — are Democrats. Sarandos’ wife Nicole was U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas during the Obama Administration. The couple gave more than $500,000 to the Obama presidential campaign in 2012.

The Sarandos were also largely responsible for convincing Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to recently ink a production deal with the SVOD behemoth.

Earlier this year, Netflix signed former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice to its board of directors.

Netflix cut its teeth in the political talk show genre with Chelsea Chandler’s “Chelsea,” which streamed for two years through 2017. It now hosts a periodic talk show format series with David Letterman, whose first guest was Barack Obama.

Last month, it started streaming “The Break with Michelle Wolf,” a late-night talk show starring the comic who infamously savaged the press and White House, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, during the White House Correspondents Dinner in April.

That said, only 5% of YouGov respondents viewed Netflix negatively, with 17% neutral and 2% claiming to have never heard of Netflix.

Speaking at the New York Paley Center for Media May 29, Sarandos responded to allegations Netflix skews toward the left politically.

“This is not The Obama Network,” said Sarandos, as reported by Variety. “There’s no political slant to the programming.”