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Why Streamers are Choosing Free, Ad-Supported TV

As streaming options continue to gain popularity, dealers are presented with a golden opportunity to reach a large and growing user base, as many viewers are now opting for cheaper or even free ad-supported options. Perhaps surprisingly, recent data shows that most customers actually prefer the ad-supported tiers.

Ad-Supported Streaming TV is the Future

An impressive 69% of CTV (connected TV) users now prefer streaming free, ad-supported content over paid subscription services without ads. This shift in consumer behavior highlights a significant transformation in traditional TV consumption models. A recent study by LG Ad Solutions found that CTV is no longer just a passive platform for watching shows—it’s becoming a dynamic space for immersive, personalized experiences. Not long ago, Netflix’s main appeal was its freedom from ads. Now, we’re seeing that trend reverse. With Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) content becoming the preferred choice for most users, it’s clear that the future of TV is changing rapidly.

How Does This Impact Advertising?

A recent study surveyed more than 1,100 U.S. CTV owners and revealed some interesting insights. It found that over 56% of U.S. CTV users prefer watching content via streaming applications. It now takes viewers 12 minutes on average to decide what to watch, which is almost double the time from the previous year.

With the rise of content streaming services, more than a third (38%) of viewers are challenged by an abundance of content choices, while 37% can’t even remember which platform hosts the content. This has led to a trend known as subscription app cycling, where 63% of viewers sign up for a streaming subscription service to watch specific content and then cancel or pause their subscription after viewing it.

Interestingly, 42% of CTV users prefer ads that offer interactive features. Viewers also like TV ad creatives that include a QR code, with 71% finding it appealing. Additionally, 62% of viewers are open to scanning a QR code, and 38% are likely to make a purchase after scanning one in a TV ad.

Making the Most of Video Advertising

As ad-supported streaming becomes the preferred choice for the majority of viewers, automotive dealers are at an ideal point for getting ahead of the curve. The key lies in creating engaging, interactive ads that not only capture attention but also drive action. Embrace this shift by incorporating innovative elements like QR codes and personalized content to create memorable experiences for potential customers. By adapting to these evolving consumer preferences, you can ensure your dealership remains at the forefront. Strong Automotive’s video production and media buying professionals are here to help you capture this growing source of traffic.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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