Many people say they’re willing to try free streaming-TV services but newcomers like Pluto TV still have work to do to get their attention

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NBC’s ‘This Is Us.’ NBC
  • People are filling their stay-at-home days with more TV.
  • 61% of people in a March survey by Kagan, the media research arm of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said they were watching more video as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Free ad-supported streaming services like Pluto TV and Xumo have been fast-tracking channel launches and promoting more news and educational to attract those audiences, as Business Insider previously reported.
  • Yet, the Kagan survey suggested streaming-TV services like Pluto TV still have a long way to go to make themselves daily habits.
  • Survey respondents were most likely to use brands they knew, including YouTube and network-TV websites.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

People are filling their stay-at-home days with more TV.

61% of people in a March survey by Kagan, the media research arm of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said they were watching more video as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Free ad-supported streaming services like Pluto TV and Xumo have been fast-tracking channel launches and promoting more news and educational to attract those audiences, as Business Insider previously reported.

While free ad-supported platforms have been gaining ground with viewers for a few years now, they haven’t yet become a daily habit for mainstream audiences. The recent rise in streaming viewers could be a breakthrough moment for those platforms.

TV-maker Vizio revealed on Tuesday that viewing sessions rose 59% among free ad-supported apps and streaming-TV services on its devices during the last three weeks of March.

Yet, the Kagan survey suggested platforms like Pluto TV still have a long way to go to make themselves household names.

The Kagan survey, which included 1,000 participants from March 27-29, asked people what free ad-supported platforms they currently used or planned to try because of the coronavirus.

“Considering these do not charge a monthly fee, and in context of a new recession, they could be in for an even greater surge compared to the paid services,” the report said.

People were most likely to use brands they knew, including:

  • YouTube – Currently used by 46% of respondents
  • Network-TV websites, like abc.com or nbc.com – Currently used by 23%
  • The Roku Channel – Currently used by 18%

They were most willing to try other TV network websites, followed by Crackle, The Roku Channel, and Facebook Watch:

  • Network-TV website – 20% don’t use but will try
  • Crackle – 18% don’t use but will try
  • The Roku Channel – 17% don’t use but will try
  • Facebook Watch – 17% don’t use but will try
Kagan Free Streaming Services

Among the ad-supported platforms included in the survey, excluding YouTube, at least 26% of respondents said they had no interest in trying the services, which suggests there’s a segment of viewers out there that’s averse to these free platform. Swaying that base could be another hurdle platforms like Pluto TV and The Roku Channel will have to overcome.

For more about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting media, see our coverage on BI Prime: