Media Trends for 2015: Ad-Free Subscription


Some of the most innovative brands are developing models that enable consumers to minimise or eliminate advertising for a price. Music is an obvious area for ad-free subscriptions with streamers preferring uninterrupted experiences. Spotify has paved the way in offering ad free subscriptions.

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Google has announced a paid ‘YouTube Music Key’ streaming service. Ad Free models are still very much in their infancy, but with a growing audience utilising tools such as Ad-blockers, many innovative companies are experimenting with alternatives in preparation for the inevitable. Google has recently launched Contributor, a developer funded model to uncover additional ways to commercialise the web beyond advertising.

Status in Australia.

Following Spotify’s model, many music streaming services are introducing a paid model that removes ads, including non-traditional streaming services such as X-Box allowing ad-free streaming on all devices. YouTube is soon to introduce a paid, ad-free subscription version with popular vlogger channels, in addition to the existing ad-supported offering. The subscription will allow users access to Google’s music streaming service as well as album tracks for which there are no videos. This will allow users to access a more diverse range of music.

Implications for brands.

1. Brands must think beyond surrounding interesting content that your consumers wish to see, and start thinking about how you can become the content that your audience wants to consume.

2. Native advertising and branded content opportunities provide a new platform for brands to engage with consumers beyond advertising. Start partnering with content producers and creators.

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