2018 Australia - Video on Demand, Free-to-Air TV, Pay TV and Digital Media

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Last updated: 26 Apr 2018 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 184

Analyst: Phil Harpur

Publication Overview

The  video streaming industry continues to evolve and growing strongly as the market moves towards 2019. Consumer habits are shifting from broadcast TV to on-demand content – especially video streaming. Traditional TV viewing is increasingly facing competition from other viewing platforms such as smart phones and tablets and from the rise of video streaming specialists such as Netflix.

This report offers a wealth of information on the video streaming, Free-to-Air TV, Pay TV and Digital Media markets including:-

  • Development and general trends in regards to the transformation of broadcasting
  • Video streaming overview and analysis;
  • Overview of the Australian pay TV and Free-to-Air TV markets and analysis of the competitive threats;
  • Video streaming major players overview including:  Netflix, Foxtel and Stan.
  • Key developments in the digital media apps and services industry: social media, online shopping, online music, online news, and online gaming.

Researchers:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- April 2018 (4th Edition)

Executive Summary

Pay TV and Free-To-Air TV under growing threat from Video-on-Demand

There are two major categories of paid online video content: Pay-per-view video-on-demand (PVOD) and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services. SVOD has emerged as the major category of paid online content in Australia.

The global streaming revolution is gathering pace. The Internet now rivals broadcast TV as a vehicle to deliver consumer content. Their shift in user behaviour continues to drive change in the TV and media industries, prompting a move away from old formats and business models and ushering in an era of high-quality, on-demand entertainment.

Streaming is closing in on broadcast TV. A rapid increase in the rate of adoption of SVOD is occurring where high-quality broadband is already available. The NBN is accelerating this trend and as the mass deployment of high quality broadband takes place via it there will be a significant decrease in the cost of SVOD.

Netflix has emerged as the SVOD dominant operator, but both Stan and Presto have built up a significant customer base, and both have the substantial financial resources of their backers at their disposal. With such a large number national and international players competing consolidation is starting to take place. Quickflix has been forced to exit the market, followed by Foxtel’s Presto service later on in the same year.

FOXTEL during the last few years has struggled to increase pay TV penetration in Australia. Viewing habits have also been affected by the advent of catch-up TV services, which are available from the main broadcasters. In addition, subscription video services from VOD operators such as Stan and Netflix are further eroding live TV viewing as subscribers choose instead to watch programs at a time of their choosing.

Also the distribution advantage held by FOXTEL is slipping away as the NBN becomes built out over a greater number of premises, so expanding the reach of capable broadband infrastructure which enables subscribers to access OTT and IPTV content. These changing market conditions are impacting both the FTA and pay TV industries.

The broadcasters have been late entering the market: their focus has been on protecting their traditional business which are under threat from declining revenues, rather than establishing a strong foothold in the SVOD market.

Amongst the existing pay TV and free-to-air subscriptions there will be increased pressure on profitability as competition for content pushes up the cost of licensing.

Key Developments

  • Netflix has emerged as the SVOD dominant operator, but both Stan and Presto have built up a significant customer base.
  • FOXTEL during the last few years has struggled to increase pay TV penetration in Australia.
  • The rate of SVOD growth moving into 2019 will begin to taper off and eventually level off in around five years' time in 2023.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Telstra, Optus, FetchTV, Bigpond, Google, Apple, ABC, Netflix, Foxtel, NBN Co, Hulu, Stan, AUSTAR, FOXTEL, TransACT, SelecTV, Telstra, TV Plus, Presto TV, Stan, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Seven West, Nine Entertainment, TEN, Free TV.

Phil Harpur

April 2018

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