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Ad-supported streaming takes share spotlight from subscription services – report

The rise of streaming television and cord-cutting has raised worries in the advertising world about whether it was still possible to reach TV consumers getting accustomed to ad-free services like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Disney+ (NYSE:DIS). But some new data suggests media companies may want to get on board with those owning ad-supported video offerings.

Time spent on ad-supported video on demand rose to a 38% share in the third quarter, according to TVision Insights – notable as it’s passed the share of subscription video on demand (like Netflix), which is down to 32% share.

“Questions of whether consumers would embrace ad-supported streaming television largely dissipated as viewers now spend more time with AVOD than SVOD, and dMVPD providers also represent a growing share of streaming viewing time,” TVision says.

Attention rates are lower for connected TV than traditional linear TV, but that doesn’t mean advertisers can’t optimize plans for the growing viewership, “for frequency, ad length, content alignment and more,” TVision says.

As for individual streaming services’ share, Netflix (NFLX) is still No. 1, TVision says – but its share of viewing fell to 22% in the first half of 2021, down from 27% in the same period a year earlier. And YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) is narrowing that gap, just ahead of Hulu (DIS, CMCSA).

They’re followed by Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ:AMZN) at No. 4, Sling (NASDAQ:DISH) at No. 5, Disney+ (DIS) at No. 6, YouTube TV (GOOG, GOOGL) at No. 7 and HBO Max (NYSE:T) at No. 8. Peacock (NASDAQ:CMCSA) came in at No. 11, and Apple TV+ (NASDAQ:AAPL) jumped into the top 20 at No. 19, Jon Lafayette notes.

By attention, though, HBO Max (T) leads, ahead of YouTube TV (GOOG, GOOGL), Discovery+ (NASDAQ:DISCA), Peacock (CMCSA) and Prime Video (AMZN).

Several media companies have gotten in on free ad-supported television: ViacomCBS (VIAC, VIACA) bought Pluto TV two years ago; Fox (FOX, FOXA) got in via Tubi TV; and Comcast (CMCSA) got involved with Xumo. Comcast’s Peacock free tier also has some FAST qualities, and Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) has STIRR. Meanwhile, they’re all wrestling with The Roku Channel (NASDAQ:ROKU) as well.

Free ad-supported TV is booming, with recent research suggesting the market is set to pass $4 billion within three years. Seeking Alpha

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