Nearly half of Netflix subs would choose a cheaper, ad-supported option

Even the most stringent, anti-advertising consumers who subscribe to services like Netflix would be open to advertising if the price and delivery are right.

Hub Entertainment Research’s latest consumer survey dug into ad-supported streaming services—both AVOD and FAST (free, ad-supported television)—and found that a relatively small amount of people (17%) said that could not tolerate advertising while watching TV shows and movies. Another 57% said they could tolerate some ads while 26% said that content matters more than ads.

Given the chance to pay $4 to $5 less per month in exchange for watching some ads, more than half of respondents said they’d opt for saving money on an ad-supported tier while 42% said they’d stick with the ad-free option.

Hub’s research presented current Netflix subscribers with a hypothetical ad-supported tier and 46% said they would choose an option that includes pre-roll ads for $5 less per month. However, only 39% would choose the less expensive plan if it meant watching pre- and mid-roll ads.

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Hub also asked consumers who recently watched a show on an ad-supported service how reasonable the number of ads was. Among those reporting that the show had 5 or fewer ads per 30 minutes, 47% felt the number of ads was reasonable. Among those who estimated 11 or more ads, only 27% felt the number was reasonable.

“What’s clear from these findings is that what matters to consumers is not whether ads are included in the content they watch, but how ads are delivered,” said Mark Loughney, Hub senior consultant and co-author of the study. “Even consumers who say they’re categorically opposed to ads will use an ad-supported platform if the price and ad delivery are right.”

Hub’s newest data comes from the first wave of its “TV Advertising: Fact Vs. Fiction” study, conducted in June 2021 among 3,001 U.S. consumers ages 14-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week.