Shifts in TV viewing habits are supercharging consumers being open to ads 

A couple holding hands while watching TV.

Shifts in TV viewing habits are supercharging consumers being open to ads  Duncan is an award-winning technology industry analyst, specialising in cloud computing, blockchain, martech and edge computing.


63% of British adults are open to ads in exchange for free streaming content with 60% subscribing to up to three streaming services, according to a study by global advertising technology firm, The Trade Desk.

As more viewers continue to shift their viewing habits to content on connected TV (CTV), the research results highlight significant consumer trends as brands look for ways to reach viewers at the right place and the right time.

The research also finds that over eight in 10 (83%) respondents dedicate up to two hours a day to streaming content. This represents an increase from 72% the previous year. This suggests that the explosion of streaming platforms and the availability of diverse content have led to a significant shift in the way UK households watch TV.

Flexibility and content availability are key factors driving the popularity of streaming services, with 74% of respondents valuing the ability to watch on-demand content on CTV and 61% appreciating the variety of available content. However, amid current cost-of-living challenges, 48% of respondents cite cost as a primary reason for unsubscribing from streaming channels. Additionally, rising costs are also compelling viewers to seek ad-supported alternatives. This presents a significant opportunity for advertisers to leverage ad-supported streaming services to reach engaged and receptive audiences.

While more than half of respondents are open to ads in exchange for free streaming services, 41% of Brits say they’re open to ads if they can access a cheaper platform, highlighting the growing acceptance of ad-supported content as a means to access free and affordable streaming services. However, consumers are selective about the type of ads they are open to, with 68% wanting fewer ads overall and 56% wanting shorter ad breaks.

Patrick Morrell, senior director, Inventory and Partnerships EMEA, The Trade Desk, said: “Content and choice are driving the demand for streaming services, but the cost associated with these is making people rethink how many platforms they subscribe to. The appetite for advertising shows that consumers are happy to view ads in order to continue having access to high quality TV content. Advertisers now find themselves presented with an opportunity to engage new audiences on connected TV and across devices. 

“To ensure a positive ad experience, brands have to leverage data-driven media buying, which offers more relevant ads for viewers. Only then can brands create meaningful connections with their audiences and ensure they are reaching the hearts and minds of consumers.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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