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Research: US streamers accept ads

March 12, 2024

Ad-supported streaming service Tubi has released findings from The Stream 2024: Streaming Insights for Marketers. In this year’s report, Tubi, who partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct the research, provides a deep dive intoA the behaviours and preferences of today’s streamers to help inform marketing strategies.

“Viewers love Tubi because we provide frictionless access to a massive library of content where they can experience the thrill of discovering entertainment they can’t find anywhere else,” said Cynthia Clevenger, Senior Vice President of B2B Marketing at Tubi. “Tubi’s growth reflects a broader consumer shift towards ad-supported streaming and understanding next gen audiences is critical for us to create a differentiated streaming experience. We’re proud to extend these insights to marketers, sharing how to best connect with Gen Z and Millennials.”

Key industry trends:

Americans are dedicated streamers: 56 per cent of viewers are streaming one to three hours of programming in one sitting, while 40 per cent are streaming three or more hours at a time. Consumers estimate using about four different streaming services (3.8 average), with heavy streamers (defined as those who stream 15+ hours/week) using about five (4.7 average). To keep them streaming, viewers want a vast selection of shows and movies (69 per cent), new or original content (61 per cent), and different genres or categories (50 per cent).

Americans are careful not to overspend on streaming: Americans spend an average of $120 (€110) every month on streaming services and TV packages – more than what they spend on gas ($112). With this high price tag, over half (53 per cent) of Gen Z and millennials believe they’re overspending on streaming, with 71 per cent cancelling due to tiered memberships that force them to pay more to access certain content.

Viewers aren’t opposed to ads – and free streaming is in favour: 58 per cent of viewers would rather watch ads while streaming and get an extra coffee every month than pay full price for an ad-free service – with 62 per cent preferring free, ad-supported streaming over paid. Additionally, 58 per cent of viewers would rather have a free account to themselves than a paid subscription they have to share.

Viewers expect the ad experience to be seamless and contextually relevant: The most preferred ad format among viewers is the standard ad break, similar to those on traditional TV, strategically placed at convenient plot point breaks in an episode or film (35 per cent). Additionally, two-thirds (67 per cent) of all viewers would rather watch an ad that’s related to the content they’re streaming.

Gen Z and millennials want original, diverse content from independent creators: Three-quarters (74 per cent) of Gen Z and millennials prefer originals to remakes and three quarters (74 per cent) are interested in seeing diversity and representation when they stream TV and movies. Additionally, 71 per cent agree they’d like to see more TV shows and movies on streaming that are independent or from smaller creators.

Viewers are tuning into nostalgic content – especially younger audiences: Nearly all (96 per cent) of Americans are interested in nostalgia watching, streaming shows that are 10+ years old. Classic hits also continue to find new audiences among younger viewers who may be discovering them for the first time – 67 per cent of Gen Z and millennials turn to content that’s 10+ years old because “the style and quality is good.”

Gen Z is rewriting the playbook for sports streaming: Two-thirds (68 per cent) are keen on watching live sports or sports programming, such as NFL weekly game previews (45 per cent) or the NBA G League (31 per cent), and 42 per cent dedicate three or more hours each week to live sports streaming, eclipsing those watching on traditional cable and satellite TV (24 per cent).

Viewers turn to streaming for connection and self-care: 71 per cent of viewers stream content with members of their household as a form of quality time. However, many viewers also view streaming as self-care, with 68 per cent streaming TV or movies as an opportunity to carve out alone time. Sixty eight per cent also agree: “when I’m really invested in a show, I’d rather stay home and binge it than go out to see friends”.

Tubi, which saw 78 million monthly active users and 59 per cent growth year-over-year in total viewing time, surpassing 8.5 billion streaming hours in 2023, continues to see momentum with incremental young, diverse audiences who are not typically watching traditional TV. Sixty-three per cent of Tubi streamers are cord-cutters and cord-nevers, and 30 per cent are unreachable on other major ad-supported streamers, according to MRI-Simmons’ November 2023 Cord Evolution Study. Also according to MRI, Tubi has seen 60 per cent growth in the 18-34 demographic, 58 per cent+ growth in Multicultural demos including Latine (67 per cent), African American (58 per cent) and LGBT (85 per cent) audiences and 64 per cent growth in female audiences, year over year.


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