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Nearly 7 in 10 UK Consumers Prefer Free Ad-Supported Streaming over Subscription Streaming Services


Opportunities for marketers to engage with their audiences on the largest screen in the house are highlighted in a new study from LG Ad Solutions.

The latest streaming report “The Big Shift: United Kingdom Wave II” from LG Ad Solutions, a leader in connected TV (CTV) and cross-screen advertising, was released today. The report revealed that UK consumers are gradually moving away from linear TV, with 25% of respondents stating they watch less of it than they did a year ago. Ad-supported streaming services are becoming more and more common in its stead, with 68% of UK consumers choosing to stream free content over paying for a subscription. Compared to US consumers, this is 8% more.

“Nearly all UK households are now reachable via CTV, and with a consumer preference for ad-supported content, marketers need to ensure that advertising on free ad-supported content is part of their media mix”, “Our data shows that after seeing a CTV ad, UK TV viewers are more likely to search online, visit a website and talk about the ad or product than US viewers. It’s clear that CTV is a performance channel and gives marketers the chance to reach and interact with an engaged audience.”

Ed Wale, VP Europe, LG Ad Solutions

In August 2023, LG Ad Solutions conducted a survey of over 800 UK consumers to ascertain their perceptions and behaviors regarding CTV. This study comes after the company’s first “The Big Shift: United Kingdom” report from 2022. The study also discovered:

  • Nowadays, the best option for live TV viewing is CTV: Smart TV applications are the most popular option for watching live TV among UK viewers (42 percent). With 53% of UK TV viewers accessing sports content through streaming, the availability of live sports is a motivating factor.
  • Customers are saving money: Over one-third of UK TV viewers are worried about the cost of TV, and 36 percent of them say they have canceled a streaming service due to financial worries. 55% of UK consumers are willing to cancel a subscription after viewing the desired content, despite the fact that 86% of them pay for one or more subscription services.
  • Customers are preferring advertisements to subscriptions: in the next 12 months, 20% of UK TV viewers anticipate canceling a subscription streaming service, and 13% plan to add a free streaming service with advertising.
  • TV homepages are important for content discovery: The homepage of the TV screen is the most popular source of content recommendations in the UK, ranking at 53%, surpassing recommendations from friends and family at 43%.
  • TV watchers in the UK are multitasking: 64% of them say they multitask “always” or “often,” and 91% say they multitask while watching TV on a laptop or mobile device. They spend 54% of their second screen time messaging, 35% shopping, and 30% gaming.

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