Video Essentials

Ad-Supported OTT Video Watched by the Young and the Wealthy

Anyone who watches ad-supported OTT video must be a cheapskate, right? It must be someone who can’t afford to pay for an ad-free service, right?

Not at all, says the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). To counter preconceptions about who watches ad-supported video (ASV) on OTT platforms, it released a report showing that these viewers are more likely to be young and have a high income—just the demo many brands are looking for.

Ad-Supported OTT Video The report looks at both paid ASV options (Sling TV, DirecTV Now) and free platforms (YouTube, the Roku Channel, Crackle, Pluto). It finds the audience is more likely to be young, male, and have kids in the household. They’re also more likely to have a higher income.

Brands that want to reach these viewers need to get down with OTT, because these viewers don’t typically watch linear television. In fact, ASV viewers spend less time with linear TV than subscription video on-demand (SVOD) viewers do. Half of them (52 percent) are cord-cutters or cord-shavers.

To put the cherry on the sundae, the IAB says this young and well-off audience is receptive to ads. They’re more likely than SVOD viewers to enjoy watching ads, find them useful, and engage with them.

73% of adults who stream video watch ad-supported OTT video
45% of adults who stream video spend most of their time on ASV
50% of ASV OTT viewers say ads can be useful or enjoyable

“Advertisers have a real opportunity to make connections with younger consumers, who are likely to have higher-income, through ad-supported video delivered over-the-top,” says Anna Bager, executive vice president of industry initiatives for the IAB. “The findings from this study can help marketers navigate their way to valuable and receptive audiences by deploying an OTT strategy.”

The report’s data on ad-supported OTT video comes from an online panel with roughly 250,000 members in the U.S. For a deep dive into the results, download the report for free (no registration required).


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