The growth of free ad-supported streaming services has made it the fastest-growing sector in cord cutting. Now according to a new report from Horowitz, 25% of all streaming is now done on a free ad-supported streaming service.
According to the report, the average American uses 2.6 free streaming services like Pluto TV, Tubi, The Roku Channel, Crackle, Redbox, and more. In total, 1 in 4 hours of streaming is now done through free ad-supported streaming services.
Increasingly cord cutters are looking for cheaper ways to watch content, and free ad-supported streaming services have become that go-to service. Many cord cutters have reported using free services to help cut back on the number of paid streaming services they subscribe to.
With free ad-supported streaming services offering hundreds of live channels and thousands of on-demand programs, it is easy to see why they are becoming so popular. Not only do they offer vast catalogs of programs the quality of the content has gone up in recent years. This new high-quality content has helped these services grow their market share.
Recently media companies have been using free services to promote paid options. Paramount often puts older seasons of Paramount+ programs on Pluto TV in hopes of getting Americans to subscribe to Paramount+ to watch the newer seasons.
Warner Bros. Discovery is also reportedly considering launching a free ad-supported streaming service called WBTV. It is expected that they will also use their free ad-supported service to push subscribers to Max.
With 25% of all streaming now done on ad-supported streaming services, it is easy to understand why so many companies are investing in free content. Even getting a small piece of that market could result in big returns on their investment.