21 APR 2022

Most streaming consumers prefer to deal with ads as long as they can pay less

When given the choice, most consumers prefer to deal with advertisements as long as they can pay less for their streaming services, according to new data from Morning Consult.


Many believe that consumers are fed up with advertisements on streaming as Netflix and other services have trained the next generation of viewers to expect an ad-free experience. But new Morning Consult data shows that, when given the choice, most consumers prefer to deal with advertisements as long as they can pay less.

When asked to choose between a less expensive, ad-supported service and a more expensive, ad-free service, consumers always preferred the less expensive option, regardless of location. South Korean adults (64%) and Russian adults (61%) showed the greatest preference for ad-supported streaming services, while Japanese adults showed the least support (37%). US consumers were also keen on ad-supported services, with 57% saying they prefer them and 27% saying they prefer a service with no ads but at a higher cost.

Unlike the other surveyed countries, German and Spanish consumers were almost evenly split on their ad preferences. Roughly 2 in 5 Germans (38%) preferred ad-free services, compared to 39% who were in favor of ad-supported services, while 41% of Spanish consumers were in favor of ads and 39% wanted no ads.


Consumers are interested in ad-supported streaming, and entertainment companies have responded by introducing ad-supported tiers at lower prices. The availability of these plans could serve as a major draw for those on the fence about adding on another service.

Most major services, including HBO Max and Disney+, have introduced ad-supported streaming options or have plans to do so in the near future. The big question is Netflix, which has historically been adamant about never including advertisements in its service but has recently softened its stance. In fact, Netflix is apparently now open to offering lower-priced tiers with ads, its co-CEO Reed Hastings confirmed.


According to another Morning Consult report, nowadays, with so many streaming services releasing episodes all at once, binge watching has become a regular activity that many consumers cherish. However, as these services experiment with different release strategies (some have even reemphasized the more traditional weekly release), there is no one-size-fits-all global approach to consuming content. In fact, watching 2-3 episodes per day is the most popular option for consumers in many countries.

Surveys were conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 999-2.211 adults in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2-3 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.