Australian SVOD market reaches 10.2MN paying subs in April 2019 | Media Analysis | Business
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A survey from AMPD Research has revealed that just over half of all Australians pay for at least one subscription video-on-demand service, while around at fifth pay for at least one sports SVOD service.

AMPD Oz VOD 17JUne2019 2 The researcher conducted an interactive online survey of 2,100 Australian internet users aged over 15, administered according to representative quotas for age, gender and state/territory. The survey fieldwork took place from 6–15 April 2019. The study examined SVOD viewers as well as account holders who pay for streaming services, with most services allowing multiple users per paying account.

Overall, of the total of 10.2 million paying SVOD customers, more than half of Australia's adult population, Netflix Australia was a clear leader gaining 5.3 million subscribers, with local SVOD service Stan a way behind on 1.4 million and YouTube Premium lagging with a million subs. Rounding up the top five were Amazon Prime Video and Foxtel Now with 600,000 and 500,00 respectively.

The average subscribing Australian household was found to pays A$35.30 (US$24.86) per month for 1.9 SVOD services, with the average viewer watching almost 10 hours per week of TV series and movies alone. AMPD conceded that sports consumption was more difficult to pin-point in a survey, due to seasonality and its event-driven audiences, but nonetheless it estimates that the average viewer’s total viewing of subscription-based content exceeds 12 hours per week. Overall, Foxtel Now registered the highest average spend among its paying base, largely thanks to its A$29 (US$20) per month add-on sports pack.

AMPD Research also surveyed the content needs of SVOD users. Three-quarters of respondents indicated that they wanted to see SVOD platforms carry more locally produced programming. More US and UK content is also widely sought after, with 58% of Australian SVOD viewers stating they would like to see more content from each country. However, the under 45s showed a stronger preference for more US content, while those over 45 indicated that they were underserved with content from the UK.

Looking at satisfaction, AMPD Research employed the Net Promoter Score (NPS) method which reflects subscriber willingness to recommend services to other people. The Australian sector as a whole had a positive NPS of 15, lifted substantially by Netflix. Dedicated sports services fared less well with a lower but still positive Net Promoter Score of 2. Netflix remained the service to beat with an impressive NPS score of 41 and also recorded the highest average viewing time for a non-sports service as well as the largest paying base and share of revenue among all SVOD services in Australia.

“Our latest survey confirms that Australian consumers have embraced subscription streaming services at a pace that is unmatched in any other major developed economy we have examined,” said Anthony Dobson, managing director of AMPD Research. “We are seeing impressive adoption rates across demographics, with 52% of the under 45s paying for video streaming services, while take-up among those over 45 is around 48%. That underscores how paying for streaming video is becoming mainstream behaviour in Australia.”

Going forward, the analyst noted that competition for spend and viewing time was only likely to increase, driven by rising investment in original content as well as access to local and international sports. Indeed, sports and kids were cited as being the likely future key SVOD battlegrounds, especially as pressure would likely rise on conventional pay-TV packaging and pricing.