Life for TV ads persists despite the rising popularity of subscription video

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
October 03, 2017, 3:30 PM GMT+0

With the rise of popular subscription video services from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO and others, the reach and usefulness of television advertising has come under question by brands looking to reach viewers. Despite these concerns, subscription content viewers remain reachable, according to the latest data from YouGov.

The Broadcast to Narrowcast report looks at how people who use different modes to watch TV interact with advertising despite the rising popularity of subscription streaming services. In general, the report finds that while subscription video on demand viewers do not encounter as much TV advertising, they are still very much an accessible audience to target.

YouGov’s analysis divides TV content viewers into groups based on how they access television content. These groups include those who watch through free streaming networks, those who only access content through free TV providers, and those who view TV through subscription video on demand.

When asked to think of the TV programs that viewers have watched in the last week and recall if any of these were accompanied by adverts or sponsorship, viewers of all types still recalled seeing advertisements. Even though 37% of SVOD users said they do not recall seeing an ad or sponsorship, a significant 38% did encounter advertisement or sponsorship. Free TV viewers were only slightly more likely to encounter advertising at 39%. Free streamers were the most likely to encounter adverts or sponsorship at 43%.


Though the ways users watch TV content are changing, regardless of which platform viewers are using, all segments still notice TV advertising. To keep up with the change in viewer behaviors, advertisers must adapt to focus on a desired market. For example, free TV users notice ads on billboards, and the free streaming users notice digital posters. This gives opportunity for multi-channel campaigns to reach viewers where they are most likely to be reached.

As technology advances and TV viewers find new ways to watch their favorite shows, advertisers must be cognizant of the platforms their audiences are using, and how those audience segments differ. Streamers and bingers might be fairly new territory, but the data proves that these viewers are still receptive to advertisements. Advertising that is tailored to an audience achieves better results.

Download the Broadcast to Narrowcast report here

Find out more about YouGov Custom reports here