NEWS3 October 2016

Majority of TV viewers prefer ad-supported TV

Media News North America Trends

US — A new survey has revealed that 53% of US TV viewers say they prefer free TV, where they ‘pay’ by viewing ads. 

Man watching TV_crop

The survey, of 1,200 US consumers who watch at least five hours of TV per week, was carried out by Hub Entertainment Research.  

But TV viewers’ responses to ads themselves seems to contradict this stated preference. 

Other findings were that 83% of DVR (digital video recorder) users say they skip ads most of the time. This encompasses 60% who skip every ad. According to Hub, this is due to issues around relevance and targeting. 

What’s more, 68% of DVR users say they will at least sometimes pause their DVR at the beginning of a live broadcast so they can fast forward through ads. A quarter ( 26%) say they do this every time. 

The research went on to look at the types of ads that have more success in engaging consumers, identifying lighter ad loads, targeted ads and gamifying the ad experience. 

"Conventional wisdom says that consumers simply don't like ads on TV. But what our study suggests is that they don't like the way ads are delivered on TV," said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub.

"Consumers say they'd welcome having ads more targeted to their interests and product needs. And what’s especially interesting is that better targeting of ads based on past purchases doesn't appear to raise major privacy concerns."