Consumers Not Keen on Ad-Supported Video on Web, Mobile

Consumer interest in long- and short-form programming leans more toward free and all-you-can-eat subscription models than ad-supported or a la carte. That’s according to “Programming for the Three Screens,” a report published this week by JupiterResearch.

Thirty-seven percent of consumers with high-speed Internet access have an interest in watching either long or short form TV programming online, the report states. Roughly half the group looks for full-length TV programs rather than clips, additional footage and live broadcasts.

While consumer appetites for online video are high, the majority of those who watch online prefer content to be both free, and free of ads. Meanwhile, twenty-one percent prefer ads over paid content. The findings contrast with two earlier studies supporting consumer feelings about adsupported video content.

“There is that sentiment that people would, in an ideal world, want to live without any business model supporting the content,” said JupiterResearch Senior Analyst and Research Director Joe Laszlo.

Though ubiquitous on the Web, video arguably remains in early stages. Television networks and other content providers continue to struggle with building an online delivery model. NBC embedded ads within its player; CBS’ innertube launched with an ad component; as did My ABC. A component of the network strategy is to build an audience and migrate it back to standard TV.

“The challenge comes up [with] the ROI in the scenario of growing TV audiences, it’s only going to work for a few years,” said Laszlo.

While consumers typically watch programming on the TV rather than online, Laszlo suggested preferences may shift with more convergence. “Right now PC-based video isn’t a good substitute for TV,” he said. “I think it’s only a matter of years before consumers start watching content on the Internet.”

The report also states that video on mobile devices is even less sought after, with only 15 percent of broadband users showing interest. Many consumers resist paying for mobile phone-based video, which is the predominant delivery model on the channel.

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