While adoption of subscription TV services has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, in Australia, young consumers are beginning to tighten their purse strings.
According to a representative survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by JWS Research in September on behalf of adtech firm The Trade Desk, nearly one quarter (23%) of 18- to 34-year-olds plan to cancel, put on hold or let lapse their pay TV subscriptions as a result of the pandemic.
This is the highest proportion of all age groups—with the number of intended cord-cutters decreasing to 10% among 35-54s, and 9% among 55+.
Budget constraints and a greater acceptance of ad-supported content are cited as two factors influencing this trend.
There's a direct correlation between Australians who reported a decline in employment or income with those that intend to cancel subscriptions. Nearly a third (28%) of those who have experienced a decline in income plan to cancel, put on hold or let lapse their pay-TV services.
In parallel, consumers are shifting towards new models of TV consumption such as ad-supported broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD). More than half (54%) of Australians surveyed said they watch content via a free ad-supported streaming service on a weekly basis. Nearly half (46%) said they are happy to watch ads if it means they can watch an episode of their favorite show for free.
But ad frequency and repetition continues to be an irritant. A large proportion (45%) of survey respondents reported getting annoyed at having to watch the same ad multiple times when watching streaming content, and a similar proportion (44%) reported getting annoyed by the volume of ads in an ad break.
James Bayes, the general manager of Australia and New Zealand at The Trade Desk, said that consumers have growing expectations of personalisation and relevance, requiring advertisers to rethink TV advertising strategies.
"Advertisers have the opportunity to shift to a more efficient, data-driven approach to reach audiences," he said. "BVOD employs better data and measurement that advertisers can’t get with traditional TV. With connected TV, advertisers can achieve a new level of precision in TV buying that includes having a better understanding of the consumers they are trying to reach, and link that more directly to business performance."