The research conducted by the global provider of advertising technology Rakuten Advertising drives some important conclusions. It shows us that 38% of 4,500 interviewed adults in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands spend more than three hours a day watching video-on-demand services. However, would they rather watch ads than pay for video content? 

Shutdowns of theatre, pubs, and cinemas, as well as cancellations of sporting events, contributed to an increase in the popularity of video-on-demand (VOD) services. It doesn’t come as a surprise that consumers turned to digital solutions for entertainment while in lockdown. 

From all the consumers interviewed in the Rakuten Advertising research, 30% say they consume video content using VOD services, second to traditional TV viewers who take up 48%. When it comes to the used channels, 11% of consumers visit video sites and the remaining 10% use social media to watch favourite content. Are you intrigued yet? Here are a couple of more interesting results from the conducted study:

  • In the UK, 60% of consumers are willing to sign up for an AVOD service that allows them to watch video-on-demand content for free with adverts. The research shows consumers are generally interested in AVOD services but may not be fully aware of what it includes.
  • 26% of consumers watching major sporting events would be interested in streaming them on an AVOD service, rather than on other streaming options, including pay-per-view and monthly subscription services.

According to these results, we can say the lockdown has quite affected the customer and brand interaction. It seems consumers are now more than ever judging the communication strategy brands are deploying and gravitating towards the most authentic ones. As a confirmation, we have 35% of customers thinking their changed attitude comes from the uncertain financial situation. In the time of need, all of them were keen to follow brands showing emotional understanding rather than ones staying completely silent. 

Here’s how Anthony Capano, Managing Director at Rakuten Advertising, commented on the situation:

Giving consumers the opportunity to access premium, quality content for free, as well as enabling brands to advertise in a sensitive and relevant manner, is a necessary evolution of TV now and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

When asked how can we support and connect with customers that are experiencing difficulties during the lockdown, Anthony Capano added:

With over 50% of people globally watching more streaming services, we can create a sense of escapism through entertainment. Brands have the opportunity to be part of this great content and connect with consumers via AVOD platforms at this time. Advertising alongside content that captivates people’s attention can help brands build positive relationships with consumers. Whether it’s demonstrating empathy or showing support to local communities, brands can use advertising to demonstrate responsibility.



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