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

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

Three key findings of the survey regarding the posed question were:
  • The answer to the above question is a firm "no".
  • Respondents are also less willing 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 individuals who watch live sports on Sky or Dazn will know that ads play before and after each game, as well as during breaks — even though they've already paid a subscription fee to access the service.

Things are different for subscribers to providers of movies and series, where the USP is that fiction programmes are not interrupted or bracketed by ad breaks — to date, at least. That could be about to change. Netflix, the industry leader, is considering adding an ad-financed and potentially cheaper tier by the end of 2022.

According to the results from the survey, Germans think about advertising on streaming services in the following way:
  • 66% of online video platform users are not prepared to accept ads in their streamed content, even if that would reduce subscription fees
  • 23% would consider a cheaper tier with advertising content, and
  • 12% would be open to paying more for an ad-free subscription if streaming portals still press ahead with introducing ads.
The survey also indicates that the potential revenue for broadcasters is negligible, with just 10% of respondents prepared to pay over €5 a month more for ad-free content.

Figures for both subscribers and sales rose significantly during the pandemic for streaming services. According to the survey, the favourite streaming platforms for Germans are as follows:
  • 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 sporting content), and
  • German providers RTL+ with 7% and Joyn with 4%. 
Commercial breaks are universally unpopular with those surveyed, with around 25% prepared to tolerate ads before and after a movie or series at most. Approximately 14% would put up with advertising content at any point if it came with a "Skip" function — like on YouTube, for example.

The survey also asks the question: Is increasing the subscription fee in return for ad-free content a promising and profitable business model? According to the survey results, few users seem prepared to pay for this service; 23% of respondents would pay up to €5 a month more for ad-free content, and just 10% would pay over €5 a month more.

Dominik Matyka, the chief advisor of the DMEXCO, says, "Many users say the freedom from advertising on streaming platforms is a key USP for them. Even if survey results don't automatically correlate with behaviour in real life, the result of this survey is clear: Streaming platforms should think very carefully before abandoning their USP."

"Advertising in return for a cheaper subscription doesn't appear to be popular right now, 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.

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