According to research firm Omdia, nearly 200 million consumers in the US are using ad-supported streaming services. This makes it the second largest market for AVOD behind India, which has more than half a billion AVOD users watching for free.
The report also found that the average US OTT video user regularly consumes content from 7.2 different services, indicating the increasingly congested nature of the market.
By contrast, the number of online video services used in the UK is 5.4 (though this is still up from 4.9 in 2019), while French, German and Brazillian customers use 4.6, 3.9 and 4.5 OTT services per month respectively.
The only market where the average number of services being used has dropped is India, where the figure has decreased from 9.1 in April 2020 to 8.9 in November 2020.
Overall, the report notes a direct correlation between the number of SVOD and free AVOD services used per month by country. It said that eight in 10 free AVOD users across the seven markets charted pay for an SVOD service, while seven in 10 have pay TV.
The report also found that smart TVs overtook the set-top box as the most used device to access free AVOD services in early 2020, while also estimating that online ad revenues hit just under US$120bn last year.
Fateha Begum, principal analyst at Omdia commented: “The simultaneous rise in both subscription online video and free AVOD consumption highlights increasing consumer awareness around content access.
“Free AVOD users show a high propensity to consume content; they are content hungry, not cost conscious. As on AVOD services grow in popularity and improve their content offering and device accessibility, paid services will have to work harder.”