Ad-Supported Streaming Gaining More Traction in 2020

Just ask Shaggy how easy it is to blow out dynamite — metaphor: ad distraction during movie

While I understand commercials with TV shows, I’m not a fan of ads interrupting the movie watching experience. An ad or two before the movie starts, fine. Commercials every 20-30 minutes or worse ruin the viewing experience.

We’re in a relatively ad-free premium subscription era right now, but that could change going forward if our premium subscribers think they need to get a piece of the ad pie. Selling whatever we do is big business, just ask Google and Facebook.

Read between the lines. These media companies are now showing more interest in maximizing the monetization potential of streaming video than they ever have in the past. Better monetization potential of a growing number of AVOD viewers means it finally makes sense to make more deliberate investments in the model, which in turn grows the audience, which in turn boosts ad revenue, etc. Peacock and Tubi alone added nearly 30 million new viewers between them in just a few months. Just wait until these media companies really pull out all the stops.

Ad-Supported Streaming Is About to Dent Subscription Streaming, and Crush Cable

This makes me less than excited to think of HBO Max adding an ad-supported pricing tier in 2021 (see: Does an ad-supported HBO Max make sense, really?). Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ have never had them, Peacock launched with ads, Hulu has them, but they tend not to be not too intrusive when watching movies, they are much more noticeable with TV shows. CBS All Access has them, again, not too intrusive with their smaller selection of movies, but definitely noticeable with TV shows.

I think we’re all conditioned that LIVE TV has commercials. Enjoy watching live sports from time to time and will be watching at least some of the election debates coming up. The commercials being there are to be expected. It’s just a different thing when you’re watching movies. It’s OK for ads at either end. Previews before movies are fine, as long as not too many.

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