DMEXCO releases survey on advertising on streaming services

DMEXCO says the topic will be discussed live at the DMEXCO conference in Cologne on Wednesday September 21 and Thursday September 22.

The survey asked the question: Are streaming service subscribers more likely to accept ads as part of the deal if it means their subscription costs less?

The three main findings of the survey regarding the question posed were:

  • The answer to the above question is a firm “no”.
  • Respondents are also less likely than before to pay more in the future for an ad-free service.
  • Amazon Prime, Netflix and Disney+ are currently the most popular streaming services in Germany.

The company says people who watch live sports on Sky or Dazn will know that adverts are being shown before and after each game, as well as during breaks, even if they have already paid a subscription fee to access the service.

Things are different for subscribers to film and series providers, where the USP is that fiction programs are not interrupted or framed by commercial breaks – to date, at least. That could be about to change. Netflix, the industry leader, plans to add an ad-supported and potentially cheaper tier by the end of 2022.

According to the survey results, Germans view advertising on streaming services in the following ways:

  • 66% of users of online video platforms are not willing to accept ads in their streaming content, even if it would reduce subscription costs
  • 23% would consider a cheaper tier with advertising content, and
  • 12% would be willing to pay more for an ad-free subscription if streaming portals continued to introduce ads.

The survey also indicates that potential revenue for broadcasters is negligible, with only 10% of respondents willing to pay more than €5 per month more for ad-free content.

Subscriber and sales numbers have increased dramatically during the pandemic for streaming services. According to the survey, Germans’ favorite streaming platforms are:

  • Amazon Prime with 61%
  • Netflix with 56%
  • Disney+ (which only launched in early 2020) with 21%
  • Sky with 13%
  • Dazn with 6% (which only provides sports content), and
  • German providers RTL+ with 7% and Joyn with 4%.

Commercial breaks are universally unpopular with respondents, with around 25% willing to tolerate commercials before and after a movie or series at most. About 14% would accept advertising content at any time if it had a skip function, like on YouTube, for example.

The survey also asks the question: is raising subscription fees in exchange for ad-free content a promising and profitable business model? According to the survey results, few users seem willing to pay for this service; 23% of respondents would pay up to €5 more per month for ad-free content, and only 10% would pay more than €5 more per month.

Dominik Matyka, DMEXCO’s chief adviser, says, “Many users claim that the absence of ads on streaming platforms is a key USP for them. Even though the survey results are not automatically correlated with the behavior in real life, the result of this survey is clear: streaming platforms need to think very carefully before abandoning their USP.”

“Advertising in exchange for a cheaper subscription does not seem to be popular at the moment, at least in Germany. We will also have the opportunity to discuss these issues face to face in September, when DMEXCO takes place in Cologne” , Matyka concludes.

For more information, visit

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