Have Brits reached a subscription limit? Two thirds won’t pay more than £20 a month for TV streaming services

25/11/2019

The majority of UK consumers (60%) won’t pay more than £20 per month for TV streaming services, with £10 the maximum monthly amount for a quarter (26%). That’s according to new research by The Trade Desk, which reveals just how judicious consumers are with their streaming spend, despite the growing number of subscription-based TV streaming services in the UK.

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With a backdrop of growing competition and finite subscription fees, TV content providers are under increasing pressure to raise revenue in order to pump out the premium content that viewers have come to expect. However, the research also suggests that UK’s savvy streamers would welcome advertising as a way to manage the cost of streaming services, while also creating a lucrative source of additional income for TV companies.

• 84% of consumers have their TV connected to the internet in some way
• 26% of consumers would be willing to spend a maximum of £10 per month on streaming services in total
• 59% of consumers would be willing to watch advertising if it meant a free streaming service
• 30% would choose for Netflix and other streaming services to be a free service funded by adverts
• 87% would be open to seeing adverts if afterwards it meant they could watch a whole episode of their favourite series afterwards for free, and without interruption
• 24% are much more distracted by their smartphone or tablet when watching linear TV compared to watching TV on a streaming service; 36% are sometimes more distracted by their phone or tablet when watching linear TV


A huge 90% of Brits currently subscribe to at least one streaming service, according to the survey. At the same time, they are open for different advertising options. For example, for 59% of them advertising on TV streaming services like Netflix in exchange for a free subscription would be an option; another option for almost half (47%) would be, if advertising gave them access to content at a cheaper price.

But timing is tantamount when it comes to TV ads. According to the research, 87% of respondents would be open to seeing ads at least sometimes if it meant they could watch a whole show afterwards, for free and without interruption - suggesting a shift away from traditional linear ad breaks is in order for those services that do show ads.

“As a nation of boxset lovers and binge-watchers, it’s no surprise that so many Brits have signed up to streaming services - a move that has further bolstered the UK’s position as one of the leading TV industries globally. But while people want to access premium content, there’s a limit to how much they’re willing to spend on it.” said Dave Castell, GM of Inventory and Partnerships at The Trade Desk. “With numerous new services set to enter an already-saturated market over the coming months, I believe that the ad-free subscription model currently favoured by many of the big players simply won’t generate the capital needed to create the content viewers crave.”
He continued: “Combined with increasing pressure over rights to popular back-catalogues of shows, advertising is likely the only viable option for streaming services to raise revenue for funding new premium content. I think consumers are clearly turned off by traditional methods of serving ads, so companies must be creative and innovative in how they incorporate advertising into the digital viewing experience. That means new approaches to relevance and timing which improve the consumer experience and increase advertising value, which will help fund the amazing premium content we all enjoy.”

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