An Important Milestone for Ad-Supported Streaming

We’ve previously written much about ad-supported service plans—what they look like for each service and how consumers make the choice between ad-supported and ad-free options. While the market for subscription streaming video continues to evolve, November 2023 marked an important milestone: it was the first month we observed the majority of sign-ups for Premium SVOD services going to ad-supported plans. Antenna measured 11.2M ad-supported sign-ups in November 2023 (a new high for ad-supported plans), or 51% of all Premium SVOD sign-ups. 

To be clear, Black Friday promotions are an important driver of this November share shift. With the exception of Netflix and Discovery+, each service that offers both tiers of plan engaged in a Black Friday promotion available on its ad-supported tier. Peacock commanded the highest number of ad-supported sign-ups for the month at 3.3M. Combined, the ad-supported tiers of Peacock and Hulu captured just below 30% of all category sign-ups. 

While this is a notable milestone in the maturation of both the subscription video streaming business and consumer adoption of ad-supported plans, it doesn’t mean that ad-free plans and services are on the way out. On the contrary, as Antenna has previously noted with the proliferation of services and plan types we see a growing segment of consumers who are managing their portfolio of streaming services by opting for a mix of ad-free and ad-supported plans. 

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Brendan Brady is a Content Strategy Associate at Antenna, a measurement and analytics company providing insight into purchase behavior and subscription metrics across the new media landscape.