January 22, 2024

The streaming landscape experienced a significant shift in November 2023 as ad-supported streaming services surpassed ad-free subscriptions for the first time. 11.2 million ad-supported sign-ups accounted for 51% of all premium streaming subscriptions, while ad-free platforms secured 10.8 million sign-ups, representing 49%.

The Top Platforms

In total, November saw 22.0 million sign-ups for both ad-supported and ad-free platforms. Notable contributors to this surge include Peacock, which added 3.3 million subscribers, marking a 15% increase in the overall total. Hulu also demonstrated substantial growth at 14%, with 3.08 million new sign-ups. Disney+ saw a 7% increase with 1.54 million additions, while Paramount+ and Max experienced 6% (1.32 million) and 5% (1.1 million) growth, respectively. Additionally, 860,000 ad-supported subscribers joined Netflix or Discovery+ during the same period.

The Shift

It's noteworthy that earlier in the year, ad-free subscriptions had dominated, constituting 60% or more of overall new premium streaming sign-ups for the six months leading up to November 2023. This shift underscores the growing prominence of ad-supported streaming platforms, with critics highlighting their rapid growth in viewership and other metrics.

Netflix, a major player in the streaming industry, revealed significant developments in its ad-supported option. In November 2023, the company reported 15 million global monthly active users for its "Basic with Ads" offering. However, recent statements from Amy Reinhard, President of Advertising for Netflix, indicate substantial growth, with the number now reaching 23 million as of this month.

These trends suggest a dynamic and evolving streaming landscape, where viewers are increasingly opting for ad-supported options, challenging the previous dominance of ad-free subscriptions. As streaming services continue to adapt and diversify their offerings, the industry's future promises to be marked by innovation and changing consumer preferences.

Cate Bender, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys

Posted on:

January 22, 2024