US smart TV users prefer free

A recent connected TV survey reveals short-form video and streamed TV show viewers prefer ad-supported content over subscription or Pay-per-View.

An online survey of 736 connected TV owners and users was conducted in May and June of 2012 by Frank N. Magid Associates on behalf of digital brand advertising software and services company YuMe.

“We now have tremendous insight into consumer behaviors and preferences as they relate to connected TV at an unprecedented level of detail,” noted Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors.

“Advertisers and major brands will appreciate the rich findings for what is arguably the most explosive platform for video distribution and video advertising over the next several years.”

For short-form and streaming TV shows in particular, connected TV consumers actually prefer ad-supported content to paid, ad-free content.

Among the survey findings: 30% of internet-connected households have some form of connected TV

Short-form video (59%) and streaming TV show (44%) consumers on connected TVs prefer 15-30 second ads over monthly subscription or the pay-per-view model

87% of connected TV users say they notice ads on the platform. The majority of ads noticed by these users are pre-roll (57%)

66% of connected TV users are likely to interact with a relevant ad. Nearly 20% actually purchased the product mentioned in the ad

Additional findings include: connected TV consumers are young, skew male, and are ethnically and racially diverse.

Families of two or more make up 93% of connected TV households. On a multiple times per week basis, users streamed more short-form content (26%) more frequently than they viewed TV shows on networks (24%), and nearly as often as viewing TV streamed from the internet (29%) and streamed movies (31%).

Professionally produced full-length and short-form videos not on TV and cable are surging in popularity, with 67% of respondents saying they watch these.

While Netflix is an overwhelmingly popular app, survey results also show that connected TV users do not want advertisements interfering with their viewing experience once it has begun.

“This study confirms that connected TV represents a tremendous advertising opportunity for brands looking to generate consumer awareness and meaningful interactions,” said Ed Haslam, senior vice president of marketing, YuMe.

“In particular, the growth of short-form video content, and the willingness, even interest, of consumers to view advertising to view the content, speaks volumes about the opportunity here. For longer-form content, the study helps validate opportunities for ad units such as YuMe’s First Impression, which enables brands to engage with their target audience before the user disappears into ad-free content, such as feature-length films from Netflix.”

Download a copy of the YuMe connected TV white paper from here.