Consumers Adding Free Streaming Services: Report

Consumers are watching more streaming video and are starting to gravitate toward free services, according to a new study.

According to Integral Ad Science’s second Streaming Wars survey, while 85% of consumers have access to a paid streaming service--Netflix is No. 1--that’s up only 2 percentage points from IAS’s first survey.

Only 20% of those surveyed said they added a paid streaming service because of the Coronavirus crisis. At the same time 44% of respondents said they’ve added a free streaming service due to the crisis.

Younger consumers in the 18-to-29 and 30-to-44 age groups were more likely to sign up for free streaming services than those in the older demos, the survey found. And 47% of all consumers said they planned to add free streaming services in the next 12 months.

Asked about commercials, 73% said they are willing to see ads in exchange for getting streaming video for free, down from 76% in the first study.

Ad quality is still important to consumers streaming free content, but they are expressing a bit more tolerance given the climate, the report said.

Connected TV is the preferred device for viewing streamed content of 63% of those surveyed, up from 59%. The increase was biggest among 18 to 29 year olds.

And the least surprising finding of the survey was that 66% of those responding said the Coronavirus situation increased their consumption of streaming content.

The study was conducted in March and had 1,072 respondents.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.