Paid Video Service Trends — Is EVERYONE Paying Not to See Ads?
Mins Read
October 22, 2020

Consumer Advertising Survey: Paid Services

YouTube has joined the forces in moving towards a paid-subscription model just like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. This means that you, as a video consumer, may have to endure more ads as a ploy to get you to sign up for their paid subscription.

Recently, we asked general consumers to share their thoughts on paid video services as alternatives to having less ads and if that played a role in those decisions.

During a ten minute video, what’s an acceptable amount of ads for free content?

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Obviously, most of us have conditioned ourselves to acknowledge that ads will be played. At 57.6% the majority expect at least one ad to be played. We have no explanation for the sycophants who want 8 ads in 10 minutes. Even those that we polled who were in advertising didn’t want to suffer through that.

How likely are you to pay in order to not see advertisements?

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Nearly half of the respondents stated that they are not likely to pay for subscription services which is a strong statement — especially in light of what those same people answered in regards to seeing ads — only 3% stated that they wouldn’t pay for a paid video service.

Why would you pay for a paid video service (YouTube premium for example)?

For many 30.3% stated, paying for ad-free content has other benefits other than being ad-free that is considered worth it.

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While 48.5% stated that they are okay with ads in the previous chart, not wanting to see ads was among the top reasons selected for reasons why one would pay for a video service.

Which paid subscriptions do you have?

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Netflix and Amazon easily sit on top of the rankings of the “go-to” service for content. Netflix, the original content disruptor and Amazon, with all the money available to make award-winning content.

Amazon Prime Video is included in Prime Shipping subscriptions — it is estimated that Amazon Prime has 150 million subscribers while Netflix has 190 million.

The fact that Disney Plus has grown so quickly, even past Hulu, shows the power of what traditional entertainment brands can do if the offerings (like Star Wars) and marketing is strong enough.

It is surprising/ humorous that none of our respondents (that means ZERO) stated that they don’t use anything. Compared to our first question where 48% stated that they are ”Not likely to pay for content services” and the 3% that stated that there is no reason that they would pay for content, it seems either they are fooling themselves or are perfectly fine watching content as long as someone else is paying for it.

Additional Thoughts/Comments from Survey Respondents

  • I’m cheap so unless it’s overwhelming, I’ll deal with ads
  • I think the main reason people pay is for a broad selection of content rather than limited advertising. I am rarely bothered by ads when using any nonpremium memberships, such as YouTube
  • I really wish we could stop seeing the same ads over and over again. It wouldn’t get annoying to see two ads in a video but when it’s the same exact ad every time it gets old QUICK. Content is king. If you have more than a single offering I am interested in, I am more likely to subscribe to avoid advertisements.
  • Consider a sliding scale where no $ = all ads, a little $ and you can reduce the number of ads or the categories for the ads (I’d pay some to never see a political ad), and a bit more to see no ads.
  • Ads should be creative, engaging — because it’s competing for my mental real estate and coming in between the show I was watching so it should be worth my time.
  • There’s no such thing as an ad-free video service. History repeats itself. The modern world has always had ads and subscriptions, and that won’t change any time soon. Even pure play subscription services (e.g. Netflix) will be ad-supported to some degree (product placement). Ads are not going away, subscriptions are not going away — the future will simply have more of both, and they will often co-exist. Subscription in the future will likely translate to a redacted or reduced ad load, not a completely ‘ad-free’ experience. There are way too many of them.
  • I would like more options for individual programs whether or not I see ads as I view it. Some shows I put on in the background while doing other things, and I will put up with ads for free content. Other shows I want to sit down and watch uninterrupted.
  • Sometimes it pays to pay

Want more Insider Research and Results?

We know it can be hard to do research while continuing to run your advertising or your content calendars. If you’re interested, you can download our FULL 2020 Consumer Thoughts on Advertising Trends. This will ensure that you receive any future research done by our CatapultX team.

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