Today Samba TV released its State of Viewership report that analyzed approximately 45 billion hours of TV viewing. According to this study, in the 1st half of 2023, ad-supported streaming services saw strong growth as Americans looked for cheaper options for streaming. Not just for cheaper paid services but also free services like Pluto TV, Tubi, The Roku Channel, Freevee, and more.
“Ad-supported video presents a major growth opportunity. The data clearly shows that consumers are embracing lower-cost, ad-supported streaming options that leverage advanced targeting to deliver maximum value for advertisers,” said Samba TV CEO and co-founder Ashwin Navin. “As audiences shift to streaming, smart advertisers are optimizing frequency and measuring impact to reach the right consumers efficiently.”
According to the report, 1 in 4 premium streaming subscribers now subscribe to an ad-supported plan in 2023. This comes as many major streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+, have recently released ad-supported versions.
In total, 90% of streamers watch ads on their subscription services or through free streaming services.
This comes as Americans are cutting back on the number of streaming services they pay for. According to the new report, about half of Americans now pay for two or fewer streaming services.
Other streamers have been switching to more free services that offer content free with ads. According to the report, 1 in 3 American streamers now watch free services like Pluto TV and Tubi.
“Streaming leaders have responded to consumer demand for greater choice and flexibility. Customizable, ad-supported tiers allow viewers to access desirable content on their own terms. Our insights reveal a strong correlation between binge-watching and subscriber retention. Live sports streaming will further accelerate industry growth. The future lies in using data to give consumers affordable options while delivering shareholder value.”
During 2020 many Americans happily paid for more streaming services now, it seems they have started to cut back. Some have cut back by canceling services, others by switching to cheaper ad-supported streaming services. The question now is how far cord cutters will go to save money on streaming.