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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.