Ad-supported tiers are big business these days, and new research has found that homes could save big if they embraced ads and made the switch away from their current ad-free plans.
While no one likes watching ads, streaming services definitely like the idea of ad-supported tiers, with even the likes of Netflix and Disney+ having embraced the ‘with ads’ movement in recent years.
According to new research from Parks Associates, the average streaming home subscribes to 5.6 streaming services and could save as much as $366 a year by simply switching from premium to ad-supported tiers. According to the numbers, ad-supported plans offered by the top services are $5.44 cheaper, on average, than the cheapest ad-free tiers.
“The move to ad-based services provides more options for consumers, especially as they are seeking a balance between costs and the desire for multiple content options,” said Jennifer Kent, Vice President, Research, Parks Associates.
As Kent also pointed out, not every streaming service currently offers an ad-supported tier, so while savings are there to be had, there are some instances where subscribers will need to continue paying for a premium, ad-free tier. As we explained recently, Apple continues to be a notable holdout in this respect, although that may change in the future.
From our own testing, we have found that Netflix and Max are two of the paid services currently offering the lightest ad loads in general, making both ideal candidates to consider downgrading to an ad-based tier. In terms of pricing, Max’s ad-supported plan costs $9.99 a month, which is $6 cheaper than the cheapest ad-free tier, resulting in an annual saving of around $72.
As for Netflix, the Standard with ads plan costs $6.99 a month. With this plan being $8.50 a month cheaper than the cheapest ad-free (Standard) plan, subscribers could save as much as $102 a year by switching to the ad-based plan.
With around $175 in savings available just between Netflix and Max, it is easy to see how Parks Associates came to the conclusion that as much as $366 could be saved when switching as many as 5-6 streaming services over to ad-based tiers.
For those fundamentally against watching ads, one of the suggestions we have recommended in the past is to rotate between streaming services as and when needed. While each service offers its own exclusive content, there is rarely a need to continually pay for so many services at the same time. By rotating services, subscribers can continue to spend more on an ad-free viewing experience while saving in general over the year.
Of course, switching to ad-based tiers, and rotating streaming services as needed, is likely to yield the greatest savings overall.