Netflix Dominates Race for Subscriptions


Netflix Streaming TV and Movies

Almost a fifth of all Australians are either already using Netflix or intend to begin subscribing to the online streaming service it has been revealed, giving the platform a huge leap ahead of its competitors in the battle for the subscription video-on-demand market in Australia.

Commissioned by Authentic Entertainment, new research suggests that paid over-the-top video services have a sizeable market available to them in Australia, and they’re likely to very quickly gain traction and members.

Authentic head of research, Beth van Koesveld, commented: “Over-the-top represents the new world of viewing. You can pick your time: TV and video fit around life. The brands that are defining (the landscape) are completely different than five years ago.

A huge amount of Australians (65%) watch short clips, long-form video or catch-up television services online, with 14% of those subscribed to the American version of Netflix by the end of last year, compared to 9% signing up to local service Quickflix.

Another 14% of respondents admitted that they intended to sign up to Netflix Australia following its launch, whilst 18% were thinking about using Quickflix, according to a study of the over-the-top video market, or video delivered online rather than via broadcast, cable or satellite.

Within two years it’s likely that OTT penetration levels will grow from 65% to 85%, according to Authentic marketing and strategy director Jonathan Hopkins, and this is before smart TVs are connected in big numbers to the internet.

It is the next frontier,” said Mr Hopkins.

Mobile devices have seen an increase in video viewing, with it now being consumed in every room of the house as well as in snackable serves whilst on the go.

Netflix had the highest brand awareness among OTT video consumers at 58%, followed by Quickflix at 54%, and Fetch TV at 52%.

Since the research was conducted last December, new local streaming services including Stan – a joint project from Fairfax and Nine – as well as Seven’s JV Presto have also launched. They now face the challenge of getting Stan on the big screen, with trouble perhaps in store for traditional broadcasters.

86% of youngsters aged between 16 and 24 watch videos online at 30.3 hours a fortnight, dwarfing their television viewing of 21.5 hours over the same period.

Authentic’s Ms van Koesveld added: “For younger demographics free-to-air networks don’t have the same kudos as they do for the people that were brought up on them.

Meanwhile, one particular 17-year-old female interviewed for the study admitted to enjoying British shows over Australian products, and using VPNs to view international video services, bypassing location restrictions.

A huge 48% of those questioned admitted they had watched pirated content, but this is still a figure which Authentic believes is likely to be understated. Half of those who admitted their felony said cost was a factor, but being able to watch high-quality video was more important than not having to pay.

With most subscription video-on-demand streaming services being ad-free, Authentic still believe opportunities for advertisers are available, with half of people preferring to watch ads than pay for SVOD.

Ms van Koesveld finished: “It probably means a new focus for advertisers. Consumers seek out premium content. Advertisers should too.

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