Viewers Choosing Ad-Supported Streaming Services: Survey

Streaming Viewers Survey Piplsay

More people are streaming their TV programming, but increasingly they are choosing ad supported services rather than opting to avoid commercials, according to a new survey from Piplsay.

Piplsay found that 83% of consumers said they’re watching content on streaming platforms, with 31% watching a mix of paid and free services. It said 19% had an ad-free premium subscription, 18% had a paid ad-supported subscription and 14% used a free-ad supported service.

This year, AT&T’s HBO Max and ViacomCBS’s Paramount Plus have introduced ad-supported versions of their services, which offer viewers a lower price point and give advertiser a chance to reach consumers who have cut the cord with traditional pay TV.

The survey found that 50% have switched from ad-free streaming services to ad supported streaming services, with 28% saying they’ve completely made the change.

Of those who have ad supported service, 49% said they were very satisfied, 41% said somewhat satisfied and 10% not satisfied.

Among the free ad supported streaming services, 23% said they preferred NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Next most preferred was The Roku Channel with 17%, followed by ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, Fox’s Tubi and Amazon’s IMDbTV. 

The most preferred paid service with ads was Disney’s Hulu, selected by 34% of those surveyed. It was followed by AT&T’s HBO Max with 26%, followed by Peacock (which has a premium tier) and ViacomCBS’s Paramount Plus. 

Consumers appear to be still making up their minds about how to spend their streaming dollars. When asked if they plan to switch to or subscribe back to ad free streaming services, 54% said yes, with 26% saying they could do so in the next 2-3 months. Among the rest, 25% said they were not sure, with 21% saying no.

Piplsay's survey is based on 27,800 online responses on July 2 and July 3.

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.