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Ad-supported Video-on-Demand in the U.S. - statistics & facts

Ad-supported Video-on-Demand (commonly abbreviated as AVoD), is a video streaming model which is growing in popularity both in the United States and around the world. By contrast to Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVoD), AVoD services do not charge their users to access content, instead generating revenue via advertising. This generally means that ad-supported video streaming services have larger content catalogs in order to encourage and drive user consumption, thereby increasing ad revenue.

North American consumers and AVoD

AVoD usage in North America is growing each year, and larger services are seeing consistent subscriber increases each quarter. Pluto TV grew its U.S. userbase by ten million between 2018 and 2019 alone, whilst Tubi drew in thirteen million monthly active users worldwide in as many months between summer 2019 and 2020. Roku is also going from strength to strength, having quadrupled its number of MAUs in four years and acquiring short-form video streaming platform Quibi.

As the AVoD arm of the video streaming market develops, consumption is increasing. Satisfaction rates with AVoD services improved significantly between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, and the first few months of the COVID-19 outbreak saw more consumers warm to ad-supported options.

Content on AVoD platforms

AVoD platforms are responding to this heightened level of engagement. AVoD catalog turnover is generally higher than that of SVoD platforms: a snapshot taken in mid-2020 showed that less than five percent of Hulu’s, Netflix’s, and Disney Plus’s content was refreshed over the course of a month, compared to over 15 percent of the content on Pluto TV and Roku.

The sheer amount of content on AVoD services is also an appealing prospect for potential and current users. SVoD platforms tend to focus on high-profile content, meaning that SVoD content catalogs are smaller but in theory have a higher concentration of the latest blockbusters and in-demand TV shows. For consumers unwilling to financially commit to SVoD and who prefer larger content libraries, AVoD is a good option.

Although ad-supported and subscription-based video services are not necessarily in competition with one another, each model appeals to different audiences, with AVoD viewers tending to be older and on a lower income than SVoD users. The video streaming market as a whole is approaching a state of universal appeal in that there are multiple options available according to price, content variety and quality, and ease of use, and with no subscription fees and expanding content libraries, the AVoD segment could have a bright future.

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Ad-supported video on demand market in the U.S.

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