Ads are a problem for users of many streaming services, but repetitive ads are likely to be something that all users find equally annoying. While this is something that may eventually improve in time, it also might not due to the way ad targeting works in streaming compared to traditional TV. In the meantime, it is just likely to be something that viewers will need to get used to.
In spite of all that streaming is doing to improve access to shows and movies, the industry is not without its issues. There are problems with things like device support and app instability. Not to mention, the very real issue of having too many streaming services and apps to choose from. As more services launch in the future, instability and choosing are only going to become issues that more people encounter, and on a more regular basis.
Then there is the issue of ads. Now, the biggest problem most homes will have with ads is that they are there to begin with. While streaming services like Hulu do offer the option to pay more each month to see fewer or no ads, other services are actively looking to introduce ads as a way to keep costs low. On top of this, there is also the wealth of free services, often referred to as FAST services, that have surfaced in recent times. As these are free services, there’s no escaping the ads, and the issue of repetitive ads.
To be clear, the viewing of ads with these FAST services is a good thing. After all, the use of ads do make it possible to watch for free. It is just that these services tend to be the absolute worst when it comes to repeating the same ads over and over again. Whether watching a single episode, a movie, or a live TV channel, a viewer is likely to repeatedly see the same ad, in some cases, the entire ad break might be the same as the last one. With no option to upgrade to an ad-free viewing experience, there’s not exactly a lot the user can do to avoid seeing the same ads.
In reality, there probably isn’t much the services can actually do either, due to the nature of ads. Compared to traditional TV, streaming services are much better at delivering localized and targeted content, and this includes ads. Due to this, a viewer in one location is likely to see very different ads to a user in a different location, even when watching the same video at the same time. Considering the hyper-relevancy of these location-based ads, the likelihood of the industry moving away from this model is minimal.
All that users can really hope for is the pool of location-based streaming ads expands enough to ensure that a viewer sees different ads more regularly. Even then, however, as the number of hours that a household streams increases, as it most likely will continue to in the future, the ability for ads that have already been seen to cycle back around is going to become easier once again. Still, if we can move from a situation where every ad break is not filled with the same repetitive commercials, that will be progress.