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AVOD is Inevitable, but What’s the Big Deal?

In the News – by Liz Salway

AVOD is Inevitable, but What’s the Big Deal?

Since Gibbs SR toothpaste featured in the first advert on ITV in 1955, audiences have understood the value exchange of watching ads in order to enjoy free content. Outside of TV, ads might even sit alongside paid-for content, as anyone familiar with glossy fashion magazines knows. Audiences accepted this implicit exchange until the Internet era, when the expectation arose that content can and should be available without any such trade-offs.

The industry only has itself to blame for the early online generation’s negative attitudes towards adverts. Pop-ups, spyware and other annoying and/or malicious inconveniences plagued the Internet in the nineties and noughties, driving many to install ad blockers and, in general, seek a more peaceful online experience. Netflix tapped into this widespread anti-ad sentiment and desire for convenience to launch their content subscription, to status quo-shattering success.

Fast-forward to 2022, and after years of rival streaming platforms jostling to be the “next Netflix”, advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD) is on the rise to reintroduce TV audiences to the traditional exchange of ads for content. With Netflix appearing to reach peak subscriber numbers, fears of “subscription saturation” in the crowded streaming market, and price-conscious audiences cutting non-essentials to weather the cost-of-living crisis, we are living through the perfect storm for AVOD’s success.

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