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UK viewers ‘turning to ad-supported streaming’

UK viewers are increasingly turning to ad-supported streaming options, with momentum likely to grow, according to research commissioned by LG Ads Solutions, the ad-tech arm of consumer electronics giant LG.

In a survey of 1,000 consumers in October, LG Ads Solutions found that the top three streaming services used by UK consumers were Netflix (used by 86% of respondents), Prime Video (64%) and Disney+ (60%)

However, the survey also found that ad-supported connected TV is the most preferred model: 71% use ad-supported models of connected TV with 68% preferring those models. Some 23% of consumers have removed a subscription connected TV service from the household in the last 12 months while 12% have added a free ad-supported CTV service during that time.

LG Ads Solutions found that the shift to ad-supported will continue with 25% planning on removing a subscription CTV service in the next 12 months while 14% are planning on adding more free ad-supported CTV services during that time. Some 68% of consumers said they would trade off less expensive subscriptions for ad inclusion.

The survey found that 78% of consumers prefer ads relevant to their interests while 71% prefer ads relevant to the content they are watching.

Some 53% think streaming ads are more relevant and 36% say they pay more attention to them.

The survey found that 13% of viewers are watching less linear TV compared to a year ago. Some 53% of consumers search for content to watch directly from the TV’s native homescreen.

“There have been two recent ‘big shifts’ in television viewing habits. The first big shift was rapid adoption of streaming content on connected televisions, fueled in-part by stay-at-home guidance at the onset of the pandemic. This first shift was underpinned by subscription-based video content. The second big shift is underway right now. Consumers are drifting away from some of their CTV subscriptions and increasingly preferring free content that is supported by ads. This presents an opportunity to provide better CTV experiences for viewers and opportunities for marketers to connect with their audiences on the biggest screen in the home,” said Tony Marlow, global CMO at LG Ads Solutions.

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