Nearly 7 in 10 UK Consumers Prefer Free Ad-Supported Streaming over Subscription Streaming Services

New study from LG Ad Solutions highlights opportunities for marketers to connect with their audiences on the biggest screen in the home

London, November 6, 2023 –LG Ad Solutions, a global leader in connected TV (CTV) and cross-screen advertising, has today released the findings of its latest streaming report “The Big Shift: United Kingdom Wave II,” which found that UK consumers are increasingly shifting away from linear TV, with 25% of those surveyed saying they are watching less linear television than a year ago. In its place, ad-supported streaming services are growing in popularity, with 68% of UK consumers preferring to stream free content rather than pay for a subscription. This is 8% more than US consumers.

“Nearly all UK households are now reachable via CTV, and with a consumer preference for ad-supported content, marketers need to ensure that advertising on free ad-supported content is part of their media mix,” said Ed Wale, VP Europe at LG Ad Solutions. “Our data shows that after seeing a CTV ad, UK TV viewers are more likely to search online, visit a website and talk about the ad or product than US viewers. It’s clear that CTV is a performance channel and gives marketers the chance to reach and interact with an engaged audience.”

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The study, which follows LG Ad Solutions’ first “The Big Shift: United Kingdom” report in 2022, surveyed more than 800 UK consumers in August 2023 to determine consumer perceptions and behaviours related to CTV. The study also found:

  • CTV is now the top choice for watching live TV: Among UK viewers, Smart TV applications are the leading choice for watching live TV, with 42 percent preferring this method. Availability of live sports is a driving force with 53% of UK TV viewers watching sports content via streaming.
  • Consumers are cutting down on costs: More than 1 in 3 UK TV viewers are concerned about TV costs, with 36% reporting that they have cancelled a streaming service because of economic concerns. Although 86% of UK consumers pay for one or more subscription services, 55% are willing to cancel a subscription after watching the desired content.
  • Consumers are choosing ads over subscriptions: 20% of UK TV viewers expect to remove a subscription streaming service in the next 12 months, and further, 13% will add a free ad-supported streaming service.
  • TV homepages are important for content discovery: In the UK, the top ranked recommendation source for content is the homepage of the TV screen (53%), above recommendations from friends and family (43%).
  • UK TV viewers are multitasking: 91% multitask with a mobile device or laptop while watching TV, with 64% doing so “always” or “often.” Their second-screen activities include: messaging (54%), shopping (35%) and gaming (30%).

For more information on LG Ad Solutions and to download the full study, click here.

About LG Ad Solutions
LG Ad Solutions is a global leader in connected TV and cross-screen advertising, helping brands find hard-to-get unduplicated reach at optimal frequency across the fragmented streaming TV landscape. We bring together LG’s years of experience in delivering world-class smart TVs to consumers worldwide with big TV audience data and Video AI designed to connect brands with audiences across all screens.

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