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Ad-supported streaming will boom in 2024: Kantar

Next year will see the rise of ad-supported streaming services, as inflation and cost-of-living continue to bite everyday Australians.

This is according to Kantar’s latest Media Trends and Predictions report, which predicts that “macro-economic factors and changing viewing habits” will shape the way people spend money in the subscription space.

Global inflationary concerns, following the pandemic, means that just 4% of global respondents say they would prioritise their subscription services if they were hit with an unexpected cost.

“A key strategy emerging from this constant uncertainty is guiding audiences towards more affordable, ad-supported services,” the report reads.

“In 2024, expect to see faster adoption of ad-supported streaming services across markets – albeit at an uneven pace, and streaming companies seeking out a deeper and more nuanced understanding of audience behaviours.”

With this will also come the focus, from media companies, on building a vast library of classic content. The ongoing Hollywood writers’ strikes resulted in viewers leaning into established television content, as well as overseas content not impacted by the strike.

“To make sense of both streaming and linear viewing habits, broadcasters and platforms will expand the definition of viewing and measures of success looking beyond overnight ratings towards more holistic measures, integrating first (and third) party data alongside panel data,” the report predicts.

With the rise of advertising-based video on demand, Kantar expects to see “more experimentation as brands lean into the AVOD revolution, with product placement within popular shows, interactive ads that allow for viewer participation, and shoppable ads that blur the line between content and commerce.”

Kantar Australia joint head of media, Sharon Hilton notes the growth ad-supported streaming has been steady, but slow, in Australia.

“We expect that this dam will burst only if the market here is hit with significant additional budgetary pressures,” Hilton said.

“However, some of the key areas to watch in Australia in 2024 will be the reaction of consumers to the increased use of premium video advertising like shoppable ads and freeze frame interstitials, and the rise of FAST channels and how advertisers use these to build targeted activity.

“We also expect that the Olympic Games will provide a hotbed of these newer ad experiences and viewing platforms.”

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