In Our Freemium Era:
The Rise of Ad-Supported Streaming


It’s no surprise that on-demand is on top when it comes to entertainment. Streaming has especially rewritten the script on content consumption and how we tune in. Today, an overwhelming 99% of U.S. households subscribe to at least one or more streaming services. What are the other 1% doing? Well, that’s not our business — but what is our business is reaching 78 million monthly active users on Tubi to deliver deep-dive-worthy content, commitment-free. So we know a thing or two about what streamers want these days. With our report, The Stream 2024, we offer a peek into the habits, needs, and desires of viewers as they venture through the stream-uverse. Tune in for insights on how marketers can take advantage of the freemium era and meet viewers where they are already engaged.


The Price is (not always) Right

As streaming saturation grows, the cost of keeping up with streaming services grows with it. Streaming spend paired with pay TV today has Americans spending on average $120 a month on these services combined. As fueling free time gets as expensive as fueling cars ($112 / month for gas), people are keeping tabs on their streaming spend. According to The Stream , over half (54%) are monitoring their services carefully to avoid overspending while 21% plan to slash some subscriptions in the next year. Gen Z and Millennials are especially feeling the heat, with half (53%) saying they’re spending too much money on streaming subscriptions. 46% even admit to having to budget in other areas of their lives to make room for their streaming spend — but loyalty still has a price, and three-quarters of viewers (75%) aren’t afraid to sign-off for good if the cost gets too high.


of streamers monitor their services to avoid overspending


of streamers plan to slash some subscriptions in the next year


Gen Z and Millennials say they're spending too much on streaming subscriptions

Great Content ≠ Great Cost

These days, ad-supported streaming services are already a part of the content rotation. Sixty-five percent of viewers use at least one free, ad-supported streaming service regularly, like Tubi, a number that’s even higher for heavy streamers (72%). For those who still aren’t convinced — maybe a little treat and full control of the remote when you sit down to watch your favorite show could change your mind. Nearly six in 10 (58%) would rather watch ads while streaming and get an extra coffee every month than pay full-price for an ad-free service. The same percentage also agree, “I would rather have a free account that is mine than have a paid subscription I have to share with others.” Whoever said that sharing is caring clearly hasn’t had to share an algorithm with their family. Simply put, ad-supported streaming is the new form of self-care, good for the soul and wallet.


of viewers use at least one free, ad-supported streaming service regularly

6 in 10

streamers would rather watch ads while streaming and get an extra coffee every month for an ad-free service


of streamers would rather have a free account than have a paid subscription they share with others

When 62% of Americans agree that they would rather use free ad-supported streaming over a paid subscription, we know it’s serious. Luckily, we have a binge-worthy content library ready to go for the ad-supported adventurer. And for the ad-sponsored marketers, we offer more opportunities than ever to cut through the clutter and connect with audiences across screens. Not only is Tubi the most-watched free TV and movie streaming service in the US, but 30% of Tubi streamers are also unreachable on other ad-supported services. With Tubi, marketers get exclusive access to a hyper-engaged audience they won’t find anywhere else. The freemium era is here and we wouldn’t want you to miss out.

For more great insights on streaming, download The Stream 2024: Streaming Insights for Marketers.

Source: The Stream 2024: Streaming Insights for Marketers, Tubi + The Harris Poll 2024
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