Aluma: Lack of New Content Not an Issue for Most Free TV Streamers

New study finds key tradeoffs including the absence of newer titles acceptable to most adult viewers

That only one-in-seven free TV streamers think the content tradeoff is failing suggests current offerings are largely adequate for free ad-supported viewing.”

— Michael Greeson, founder of Aluma Insights

FORT COLLINS, CO, US, October 24, 2023 / — More than half of US adults that watch free streaming video on TV think free viewing offsets the dearth of newer shows and movies in service libraries—this according to new research from Aluma Insights, a Colorado-based CTV research firm. Only 16% of adult viewers disagree.

Two of the key shortcomings of free streaming services are they lack the latest shows and movies, and that they require the viewer to tolerate a pay TV-like ad load. Service providers bank on the fact that viewers understand these tradeoffs. Aluma’s new research touches on both subjects.

“There is a quid pro quo between free streaming TV services and their audience that pro-bono viewing requires two sacrifices,” said Michael Greeson, founder and principal analyst at Aluma Insights. “The first is that the content selection will be less than stellar, the second that viewers must watch a broadcast-like ad load. As long as these elements are in balance, the tradeoff makes sense to both viewers and operators. That only one-in-seven free TV streamers think the content tradeoff is failing suggests current offerings are largely adequate for free ad-supported viewing.”

The tradeoff between free viewing but less-than-stellar content works best for:

• Viewers ages 18-34 – The younger the FTS viewer, the more likely they are to think free access compensates for the lack of new shows & movies. This is particularly encouraging for services that aggregate content for young adults.
• Innovators & Early Adopters – As adopter status advances, so does the percentage of viewers that think the tradeoff works well.
• Gender, household income, ethnicity, region, and presence of children under 18 in the home made no significant difference in how viewers perceive the free/fewer-new-shows tradeoff.

Aluma points out, however, 30% of viewers had no opinion about the content tradeoff, meaning a significant part of the jury is still out, poised to go negative if the quality of already lower-value content further declined. Thus, free TV streaming providers should think carefully before adding additional ad minutes to current loads, and instead look to improve the ad-viewing experience by, for example, reducing the frequency of repetitive ads.

About the Research

In July 2023, Aluma Insights surveyed nearly 1,900 US adults that watch free on-demand (FVOD) or free ‘live TV’ streaming (FAST) services about which of almost 40 such services they use, how frequently they do, their percentage contribution to TV viewing time, and their value relative to paid services such as Netflix, among other important viewing characteristics. Three reports based on this research have been published, with a fourth available in early November.

About Aluma Insights

Aluma provides research-based strategic insights to companies in the CTV value chain, including creators, aggregators, and OEMs looking to master the connected TV ecosystem. To inquire further about Aluma’s services, please contact us at [email protected].

Michael Greeson
Aluma Insights
+1 469-287-8060
email us here

Originally published at

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