From being anathema, now the giants have stopped closing the door to the idea
When it was announced in August that SkyShowtime, the new streaming platform for Europe that will offer content in the US are from Peacock and Paramount +, viewers jumped to assess the idea on Twitter. Of course, there were those who were wondering whether this would finally mean the new season of their favorite series or the arrival in Spain of titles that they had never done (and wanted to see). Also, some tweeter commented that the industry thought “that we are rich.” The market in Spain for VoD platforms is already full of supply, but viewers are not willing to pay much more for it.
The problem of payment and new platforms is neither new nor exclusive to the Spanish market. Subscription fatigue is a major problem for the content and media industries. Nobody wants to pay more because they already have the feeling that they are paying an infinite number of subscriptions of all kinds.
For this reason, the model of access to content with advertising has once again been seen as promising and interesting. At first, VoD platforms, such as Netflix, were successful because they offered the content that the consumer wanted to see, free of schedules and, above all, with the absence of advertisements.
There were not the eternal ad breaks of linear television. It mattered little to pay. As the list of platforms grew and the content that consumers wanted to see as well, the ads began to look attractive again.
A study this summer already pointed out that half of viewers would choose an option with ads if that would get rid of paying for streaming. Another more recent indicates that a third directly prefer ads to eliminate fees.
Therefore, it seems inevitable that the next advertising war will be for streaming. Advertisers are also eager to pay for those ads – audiences have been taken away by VoD, and right now they have no way of connecting with them.
The big ones in the market pivot
Although some of the big ones are reluctant to announcements (Netflix has made it clear by active and passive that it does not contemplate the idea), the market itself is already showing signs of change.
When HBO changed to HBO Max in the US, it did so with a premium, ad-free model and a cheaper one that does include ads. The platform will reach several European countries, including Spain, at the end of this year and viewers expect it to do so with that latest model as well. Advertisements are no longer anathema and the great ones value the idea of surrendering to them, when they have not already done so.
And, perhaps, the movement that could change things in the market would be Disney. Disney + is one of the expensive VoD platforms – and not much more familiar than for only adult audiences – and those that do not have ads. But things could potentially change. Will you include Disney + ads? No. Could it be a possibility for tomorrow? Maybe.
What Disney thinks
Bob Chapek, the CEO of Disney, was asked about the question in a conference on communication. Disney already has a platform, Hulu, that operates on an ad-supported freemium model (although it is only in the US market). Chapek has not clearly said that they will include advertisements, but as the US media points out, he is not completely closed to it.
The key, which could be perfectly worth to understand how the change to an advertising model in streaming will take place in the future, is who sees the content. Chapek has insisted on the importance of understanding “the different audience segments of the platforms.” At Disney +, they have “a ton of kids” watching content.
If they run advertising on the platform, it would have to be completely different from Hulu. “The taste for us of considering advertising on something like Disney + would be completely different than it might be on Hulu,” he explains. The advertising strategy should be “individual, not one size fits all.”
Right now, they are very satisfied with the model they have, but what can happen globally is something that must be seen over time.