Netflix, other new streaming services drive growth of OTT in Australia

By Jim O'Neill on Apr 06 2015 at 5:15 AM
Netflix, other new streaming services drive growth of OTT in Australia

Australian digital services and content creator Authentic Entertainment reports that over-the-top video will revolutionize the media landscape, becoming nearly ubiquitous in Australia over the next 24 months.

A new report from the company contends that 85% of the population will be watching OTT video, up from close to 65% today.

The study – a combination of in-home interviews and online surveys of more than 1,700 Australians  -- posits that smart TVs will be a core element of the growth. A recent Nielsen survey showed that while nearly 30% of Australian households had smart TVs, many were not yet connected to the Internet.

But Authentic Entertainment’s Jonathan Hopkins, director of marketing and strategy, told the Australian newspaper that the device “is the next frontier.”

Other studies aren’t as keen on smart TVs, suggesting mobile devices will be more powerful tools for younger users and that streaming digital devices, like Rokus, Apple TVs, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick and Google’s Chromecast will have bigger impacts. Those devices are inexpensive, easy to deploy and have the potential for significantly shorter lifespans as new technologies come to bear.

Authentic Entertainment’s head of research Beth van Koesveld, meanwhile, points to a swath of new streaming services as crucial to kicking off "the new world of viewing."

“he brands that are defining (the landscape) are completely different than five years ago," she said.

Van Koesveld said newcomer Netflix, which launched in Australia last month, already is being used by – or soon will be used by -- nearly 20% of Australians, and that’s the local version. Researcher Pocketbook said that, even prior to Netflix being available in the country legally, some 27% of Australians already subscribed to the American service using a VPN, triple the number using it in January 2013.

She said that among existing OTT users, Netflix has the highest brand awareness at 58%, ahead of local rivals Quickflix (54%) and Fetch TV (52%).
Authentic Entertainment’s research showed nearly 90% of Gen Edge viewers (16-24 year olds) watch video online, the research found, and that they’re spending more time with streaming content than traditional television.

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