With the launch Thursday of the Netflix Basic with Ads tier, video programming search and recommendation service JustWatch issued data showing consumer interest in advertised video on demand (AVOD) services and content picked up significantly in the last three months.

JustWatch said its data gathered from users of its its online search and recommendation tool (see chart a top) showed interest in traditional SVOD streaming dipping between the months of February and June, and interest in AVOD options picking up steam in the weeks leading up to the launch of the new Netflix AVOD tier option.

At the same time, interest in subscription based video on demand (SVOD) has been trending in the inverse direction.

Netflix launched Thursday its new AVOD plan, which offers subscribers the option to watch Netflix content with ads for a reduced monthly fee of $6.99 per month. The company continues to offer its existing SVOD plans ad-free at the price of $9.99 for 720p HD Basic plan; $15.49 per month for 1080p Full HD Standard and $19.99 per month for 4K+HDR Premium.

The new Basic with Ads plans requires viewers to sit through 4 to 5 minutes of 15 to 30 second ads per hour before and during movies programs. However, Netflix continues to offer streamed games and kids shows ad-free to viewers logged in under a Kids Profile.

The new AVOD tier is still not available, however, to viewers watching on Apple TV devices or non-Google TV-supported Chromecast streaming players. The tier is also not available on the Sony PlayStation 3 console or via the streaming app on Windows PCs.

In addition mobile devices will have to be running Android 7 or later or iOS 15 or later to get the tier option.

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Netflix also disclosed that the new ad-supported tier also omits certain third party movie titles available to viewers of the more expensive tiers.

Leading up to the Basic with Ads service tier, JustWatch issued its user data, showing Netflix’s traditional SVOD tiers were suffering a downward spiral this year, losing -2% of shares by September. That compared unfavorably against newers SVOD premium streaming services like Disney+, which was winning over +3% of the market. Similarly, other services enjoyed viewership gains in the period including: Apple TV+ and HBO Max, which had each added +2% headed into the fall.

In tandem with the Netflix Basic with Ads tier launch, JustWatch announced that it has added listings recommended for U.S. viewer interest from the Netflix AVOD catalog titles. The online tool makes it easy to browse for shows using various filter options including, release year, IMDb rating, and genre. Check out the JustWatch Netflix AVOD page here:

JustWatch is a web-site-based service and mobile app offering an online guide that aggregates title listings for movies and TV shows offered by more than a hundred streaming content services to make it faster and easier for viewers to find the programs they are looking got. These disparate international on-demand OTT services range from some the most popular to U.S. audiences, to some international sources that might be less familiar to some viewers. Among them are: Netflix, Disney+, Now TV, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, hayu, Mubi, Sky Go, All 4, Curzon, Chili, YouTube, Rakuten TV and others.

JustWatch even directs searchers to movies still showing in cinemas.

Users have a number of filters at their disposal to search through including: genres, prices, ratings scores, age ranges and even available resolution quality. The service also provides suggestions based on a user’s preferences, and will let viewers jump from the suggested listing in the JustWatch app to the service where the recommended program is being hosted.

JustWatch doesn’t provide direct in-app streaming of programs, but it does offer a free and convenient way to browse for something of interest without having to go looking through dozens of different apps and services.

The service then gathers data from the searches and selections made by its users to assemble relevant information on trending content and streaming behaviors. Users have the ability to register an account with JustWatch to enable a greater level of personalization in performing searches and giving users a heads-up when a movie or program becomes available. Signing up for account will require accepting email marketing from JustWatch, with the option of turning that off in settings after the fact.

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By Greg Tarr

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