Ad-supported video content – how many takers?
August 10th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

Ad-supported video content – how many takers?

With Netflix announcing a partnership with Microsoft to launch an ad-supported subscription model, we dig into YouGov Profiles data to get a sense of the shares of consumers who might welcome such a plan.

Firstly, why is Netflix even considering the move? The answer is fairly straightforward – price is the single biggest factor that pushes consumers towards cancelling their existing video-streaming subscriptions. According to YouGov Profiles, more than a fifth of Americans looking to cancel a streaming service cite the cost factor as a reason (22%).

A similar proportion say they are considering cancelling their existing subscription because they can watch the same content on another platform with ads. While this may not directly apply to Netflix as most of its content is exclusive to the platform, it nevertheless demonstrates an appetite to cut down on streaming costs, even when the trade-off is watching adverts.

While cost is a recurring factor for those looking to cancel their video streaming subscriptions, it is worth taking note that just under a fifth of this group say they are looking to cancel a service because they are fed up with the ads (18%).

Even so, Global Profiles data reveals that large proportions of consumers, both in the US and elsewhere in the world, say that it is fair they have to watch ads in exchange for free content. While Netflix has indicated that the ad-supported model will come at a lower cost rather than free of charge, it is still worth considering the shares of consumers that are on board with the adverts/content trade-off in principle.

Looking at a diverse set of markets globally, at least half of the consumers in each say they think it is fair they have to watch advertisements in exchange for free content. The highest acceptance for this trade-off is in Indonesia, where two-thirds agree with the statement (65%). Five in nine Americans also agree with the statement, compared to a half of adult consumers in Britain and UAE.

The video streaming industry has boomed over the past 15 years. Today over two thirds of consumers globally say they watch at least one hour of content via video on demand streaming services each week (67%). But as the market has grown, competition in the space has increased. Three in ten consumers feel they have subscriptions to too many media streaming platforms (28%). Inevitably, media brands must adapt as they look to retain customers and win over new ones.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative of the population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 18+ years in the US, Britain, Indonesia, and UAE. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from UAE, which uses urban representative samples, and Indonesia, which uses online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.