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UK consumers switching on to ad-supported streaming

IASOver eight in ten UK consumers – 83% – are willing to watch ads to gain access to free streaming content, while 56% plan to start watching free ad-supported streaming services over the next 12 months, according to a report by IAS based on consumer research carried out in December.

Some 19% of consumers usually watch ads all the way through when streaming. Contextual targeting helps to drive ad completion with 54% of consumers willing to view an ad to completion if it’s relevant to the content that they are watching, according to the report.

About 17% of consumers are more likely to remember ads or likely to look up products and services of ads when viewed while streaming video or watching connected TV, according to IAS, which attributes this to the enhanced targeting and data insights that these platforms can provide compared with linear TV.

Some 61% of consumers are more likely to switch to ad-supported streaming services because they want to save money and three in 10 say that they already pay too much for subscription-based streaming services.

Ad-based streaming services have some advantages over ad-based iinear TV. Some 44% of consumers find the ability to skip certain ads as the top reason they prefer free streaming services to linear TV. Shorter ads and ad breaks differentiate UK streaming services from linear TV, with 65% of consumers stating that this makes their ad experience better.

Fully 90%) of UK consumers have access to a connected TV device, with integrated smart TVs preferred by 64% of consumers over external boxes or stick options. Seven in ten prefer to watch video streaming content via smart TVs, with 58% opting for a mobile device. Meanwhile, half of consumers use their mobile phone as a secondary device while streaming video.

Among subscription services, 78% of UK consumers have access to Netflix, with 63% citing it as their preferred service, followed by Amazon Prime Video at 53%, with 16% citing it as their preferred service, Disney+ at 39%, cited as preferred by 7% and NowTV with 19%, cited as preferred by 4%.

The survey was conducted in the UK in December, analysing responses from 514 consumers.

Nick Morley, EMEA Managing Director, IAS, said:  “With major changes to consumer habits last year, viewer patterns have rapidly evolved. The UK Streaming Wars report shows that viewers are now increasingly open to ad-supported video options, so the onus is on the digital advertising industry to help marketers meet consumer needs with an enjoyable experience. Advertisers in the UK are spending more on digital video and CTV than ever before as new formats emerge to become a major avenue for online advertising campaigns. IAS was the first partner to work directly with the largest video publishers to validate that video ads are viewable, fraud free and brand safe when running across CTVs. Free ad-supported streaming services can differentiate themselves with both price and content, offering a clear opportunity for brands to connect with consumers, if relevancy and frequency are prioritised.”

Tags: IAS, UK