Q3 2021 Digital Video Trends

Ad-Supported Video Bolsters Viewership

About This Report
More video viewers turn to ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) and free streaming options.

Executive Summary

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of quarterly video overviews focusing on monetization, audience, and content. On the radar for Q3: new video viewer forecasts and updates to estimates for select subscription streaming services.

How many people will use ad-supported video on-demand (AVOD) services?

In 2021, 127.7 million US residents will use AVOD platforms.

Is YouTube mostly watched on connected TVs (CTVs)?

Most time spent on YouTube still happens on mobile, but its CTV viewership is surging. This year, 123.8 million people will watch YouTube via CTVs.

How fast is viewership on free streaming services growing?

This year, the number of free premium video streaming viewers will increase by 18.4% to 89.2 million.

What is the latest regarding HBO Max subscribers?

We raised our 2021 HBO Max forecast from 53.8 million viewers to 79.1 million. The shrinking theatrical window, clearer subscriber metrics from the company, improved distribution, and consolidated operations have helped HBO Max add viewers at a faster rate than we previously expected.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers key events in the digital video industry based on data, trends, and business activity in Q3 2021. It includes our inaugural forecasts for AVOD viewers, free premium streaming video viewers, YouTube connected TV viewers, and YouTube Premium subscribers.

KEY STAT: There will be 127.7 million US AVOD viewers in 2021.

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Ross Benes


Chuck Rawlings
Senior Researcher

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast