Nearly Six in 10 U.S. Pay TV Subscribers Push Back When Ads Use Personal Data: Parks Associates

In the wake of new efforts by the FCC and U.S. Senate to deregulate the marketplace by rolling back the Obama administration’s Internet privacy protections, new research from Parks Associates finds 59 percent of U.S. pay-TV broadband households are bothered by the fact that advertisers use their personal viewing data to push personalized ads to them.  


The international research firm also found that nearly 40 percent of pay-TV subscribers worry about the safety and use of their personal data when they use an online video service, according to 360 View: Digital Media & Connected Consumers.

These concerns are likely to grow since the U.S. Senate recently passed a joint resolution allowing ISPs to sell collected consumer data without requiring opt-in consent from consumers, while the FCC voted to suspend rules regulating consumer privacy data.

Additionally, Google will now allow advertisers to target YouTube ads based solely on a consumer’s search history. This practice will allow brands to push video ads to viewers who recently searched for a retail product, a specific movie trailer, or information on a television show.

“Privacy fears are a major factor in broadband consumers’ online media experiences,” said Glenn Hower, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Advertisers have the most to gain by leveraging viewership data, and those advantages will only increase as they acquire more personal information such as search histories.”

According to Parks Associates research, a majority of consumers are concerned about the safety and privacy issues created by these practices, so advertisers and pay-TV providers need to be transparent about their data collection and protection of consumers’ information. These efforts are important for pay-TV providers in particular as 34 percent of U.S. pay-TV subscribers indicate they trust an online video service more than they trust their current pay-TV provider.

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Lane Cooper