Streaming apps are turning to ad-supported models

Anne Freer | March 11, 2022

App Business

Streaming video on mobile apps really kicked off in 2020 and apps such as Disney+ recently even surpassed the $2 billion consumer spending mark.

Netflix and YouTube regularly featured in the top 10 most downloaded entertainment apps. However, until now, most of the big players have insisted on ad-free, subscription-based content access.

That’s about to change as ad-supported video emerges as a new trend in video streaming. 

Disney is already preparing to launch a cheaper, ad-supported app this year and hopes to reach over 250 million subscribers over the coming two years.

HBO Max added an ad-supported subscription option last year and Hulu has already shown that ads are a viable business model for streaming apps.

eMarketer predicts that ad-supported video streaming viewers in the US will grow from 140.1 million to 171.5 million by 2026.

And it’s not difficult to see why streaming apps are turning to ads – it attracts a significantly larger, more diversified audience. 

Add to that the fact that streaming services such as Netflix continue to increase their prices, making them unaffordable to some users. 

Ad-supported streaming apps would also mean that consumers may be swayed to join multiple streaming apps rather than just sticking to one.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of all though is that ad-supported channels would attract additional revenues from advertisers.

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