83% of Viewers Skip Online Video Ads When They Can, Says Deloitte

Love skipping online video ads? It turns out, you’re in good company. According to the 11th edition of the Deloitte Digital Democracy Survey, 83 percent of U.S. consumers will skip an online video ad if they can. Additionally, 67 percent say the majority of the mobile ads they see aren’t relevant to them. For generation Z, that number is 72 percent. Looks like those targeting algorithms need some fine-tuning.

Speaking of young adults, Deloitte finds that generation Z and millennial viewers are more influenced by recommendations from family or friends than from TV ads. They even say recommendations from someone in their social media circle more influential than TV ads.

“This year’s survey confirmed U.S. consumers’ status as a binge-watching, streaming, multitasking nation, and we continue to see demand for content rise across all demographics,” says Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. media and entertainment leader at Deloitte. “The question for advertisers is how do you monetize all this consumption. While most consumers—67 percent—find mobile ads on their phone irrelevant and 45 percent of millennials use ad-blocking software, we saw a bright spot in that 37 percent of consumers find it valuable to receive location-based ads on their smartphone. This indicates that, if done well, the opportunity for micro-targeting based on geo-location could be significant.”

As for content, Deloitte reports that 73 percent of American consumers binge watch TV shows. Young adults are the strongest bingers, averaging six episodes and five hours per viewing session. They’re not simply glued to the screen during that couch time: 99 percent of millennials and generation Z viewers are multitasking by texting, browsing, using social networks, reading emails, and shopping online.

In the latest high water mark for streaming services, Deloitte finds that 49 percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to a paid OTT service, while 74 percent subscribe to pay TV. For younger adults, nearly 60 percent subscribe to a paid streaming service. However, viewers spend 40 percent of their time streaming from free services and 35 percent of their time streaming from paid services.

The hardware used for streaming video varies by age: Millennial and generation Z viewers spend roughly half their viewing time watching on something other than a TV. Generation X spends 60 percent of their viewing time with a TV and baby boomers spend over 80 percent.

The reason pay TV subscription rates are as high as they are is largely due to bundled offerings. Deloitte finds 66 percent of pay TV subscribers keep their service because it’s bundled with internet and they’d pay more without it.

Deloitte hired an independent researcher to survey 2,131 U.S. consumers in November 2016. Download a PDF of the full results for free (no registration required).


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