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Ad-supported streaming video is the winner.

Ad-supported streaming video the winner when households under pressure

Advertising supported streaming video services are the winners in a time when households are under pressure because of economic uncertainties and high inflation.  The number of CTV (internet connected TV) hours per household watched increased 21% year-over-year in 2023 with ad supported services capturing the bulk of new viewing, media consultancy Comscore reports in its latest annual US State of Streaming report.

“This increase translates to an additional 2 billion hours in 2023 compared to the previous year. Total hours viewed grew from 9.6 billion to 11.5 billion from May 2022 to May 2023.”

“While there is growth across the board, what is significant is that 75% of new hours were captured by providers beyond the top six apps – Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max/MAX and Disney+ – as FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming TV) and Targeted Programming consumption accelerates.”

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“While the top US streaming services are keeping up with the demand for subscriptions, new growth can be observed in FAST streaming platforms like Roku, Pluto and Tubi which are increasingly consolidating their position in the household mix,” says James Muldrow, Vice President at Comscore. 

“At the same time, cable/satellite subscribers remain some of the most engaged users in the streaming landscape. With three cable/satellite providers in the Top 10 ranking of video services based on hours watched per household, these findings highlight the success of these providers in offering advertisers consistently engaged streaming audiences.”

According to the analysis, the streaming audience size also continues to grow, up to 73% (YoY) from 69% in 2022.

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Additional findings:

  • Digital video is accelerating its growth: Hours watched on connected devices have risen 20% year-over-year with 81% of WiFi households now streaming on CTV.
  • US households are adopting ad-supported streaming services at a faster rate: CTV households streaming ad-supported streaming services reached 83.7M, a 17% increase (from 2021-2023), while households streaming non-ad-supported services reached 81.1M, a 9% increase.
  • Smart TVs are the dominant force for CTV streaming: Total households that stream content via Smart TVs increased 23% from May 2021, followed by gaming consoles at 18%.
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