Why most users accept to watch advertising on streaming platforms

More and more streaming platforms are joining the trend of offering content in different subscription levels with the idea that each user will have to pay more to see less advertising; something raised by Netflix, Disney+ and even Hulu.

However, other services such as PlutoTV present a different idea for users that more closely resembles traditional television: offering free channels with no registration required in exchange for viewing integrated advertising.

Christian Kurz, Senior Vice President of Global Streaming Research and Insights at Paramount Global, spoke exclusively with Infobae and commented that the way in which PlutoTV provides its content has “acceptance of advertising because it is free content. The audience is so used to watching it in an environment like traditional television that they even expect commercials”.

While it may seem that live streaming in a traditional near-TV style is not as effective as streaming, this is not correct.

A study conducted by Paramount called “Free Ad-Supported TV Streaming (FAST)” and conducted with more than 5,000 consumer opinions from around the world, indicates that more than 80% of respondents find it surprising how much content they can watch for free.

In addition, 72% of consumers indicated that having advertising is part of the TV viewing experience. However, while they may accept it, this does not mean that the service they choose should feature it frequently or for long periods of time.

For Kurz, the experience should not be invasive but should be more organic.

“In the case of paid applications there is less tolerance for advertising because if they put more, the public will end up complaining and might leave.”

In that sense, the PlutoTV representative assured that in Latin American countries, the platform presents a maximum period of 8 minutes of advertising for each hour of streaming transmission. This includes its main markets in the region, which are Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

It is precisely in these countries where watching television is a shared activity. According to Kurz, watching a program with friends or family is much more common in Latin America than in markets such as North America or Europe, where it is a more solitary practice.

In both cases, FAST assures that 74% of users consider that, regardless of their mood, they always find something to watch.

Content and trends

The presentation of content also affects the way in which each user can get to have a proper experience.

Instead of having thousands of series, movies and documentaries, PlutoTV offers “Channels” that vary depending on the country from which you log in.

This wide variety of content translates not only into more possibilities to explore users’ tastes, but also makes it easier to find something entertaining immediately.

FAST’s analysis indicates that 78% of users consider that it is easier to discover new content on this type of platform and 71% find it much more convenient not to have to worry about searching for something because they already have it live just by logging on to the web.

Thriller, horror, comedy, South Park, Soccer, Naruto, Cooking, SpongeBob, among others, are some of the categories that can be found for free on the service, although as is logical in a region as diverse as Latin America, programming preferences vary from country to country.

For example, in Argentina, the reality show Gran Hermano was a national trend and its exclusive channel became one of the most watched in all the programming offered at the regional level.

In Mexico, for example, people tend to turn to comedy channels to relax, although superhero content is also one of the most popular.

This does not mean that similarities cannot be found between the markets, however different the programming or customs may be.

According to Kurz, children’s cartoons such as SpongeBob SquarePants and those aimed at a more adult audience, such as South Park, are always in the trends regardless of whether the service is offered in Latin America, North America or Europe.

Kurz explained that one of PlutoTV’s ways to maintain its flow of visitors is to modify its content catalog so that the experience can be entertaining.

This is based on three principles: content rights (to broadcast series and movies legally), popularity (the content must generate audience for it to be maintained) and above all, expanding the experience.

“There is content that we publish with the intention of showing suggestions of what our audience might like. Maybe it’s something they haven’t seen before and they might be encouraged to try new things. Popularity is not our only priority, we want to do something more fun,” he said.

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