Survey: Netflix Subs Open to Ads at a Discount

The beauty of Netflix is tons of content, easily accessible at a reasonable price and no ads, right? But what if the streaming powerhouse were to offer a less expensive option with ads — would you go for it?

Amid speculation that Netflix is considering an advertising-supported plan, Portsmouth, NH-based Hub Entertainment Research surveyed subscribers to find out if they would be open to the idea. The answer: Yes, but only if the plan was a few bucks less than their current ad-free subscription.

The study revealed that a Netflix streaming plan with ads would have to be $3 a month less than the no-ad plan to attract subscribers. At $1/month less, six in 10 current subscribers say they would just stick with the ad-free plan, but at a savings of $3/month the “ad-supported option edges out ad-free.”

Among the survey’s other findings…

• An equal number of consumers prefer free ad-supported TV (43%) versus ad-free paid subscriptions (45%), while one in 10 (11%) prefer an a la carte approach, buying individual episodes or whole seasons of a show with no ads.

• Viewers in the 18-24 age group have a higher preference (58%) for ad-free streaming platforms than those in the 25-34 (44%) and 35+ (44%) age groups.

• The average consumer feels they’re paying about $26/month more for TV than they should be.

• Those who subscribe to streaming platforms like Netflix are not necessarily looking to save money: their total “reasonable cost” ($98) is almost as high as that of traditional pay-TV subscribers ($108) — only $15 a month less.

• 80% of Hulu subscribers ranked that service as offering “excellent” or “good” value, followed by Netflix at 75% and Amazon at 73%; by comparison, only 45% pay-TV subscribers ranked pay TV (delivered over the internet) as an excellent or good value.

• 75% of Netflix subscribers who also subscribe to traditional pay TV say set-top box access to Netflix makes pay TV more valuable; 52% of Netflix subscribers without pay TV see no additional value to having Netflix integrated with traditional pay TV.

• Viewers in the 18-34 age group cancel TV services at higher rate (40%) than other age groups: 35-54 (23%), 55-74 (12%).

Hub surveyed 1,765 consumers aged 16 to 74 who have an internet connection and watch at least one hour of TV per week. The survey was completed in June 2019.

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RaleighTiger's picture

How many ads are we talking about? A single 30 second ad per show? 3 such ads, once? Something closer to network TV where it's many ads several times an hour, around 30% of the slotted time? If it's even close to the later, NO WAY.

And here's the "other shoe" in this - you know if it starts, it's going to creep up just like network TV did. That revenue drip is just too addictive to allow the opportunity cost of gradually raising it to be passed up.