The over-the-top and SVOD virus is spreading across Australia with record-setting subscription numbers and usage figures being tossed around like rugby balls at a barby.
But, consumers are finding there may be a price to pay for ditching more traditional appointment-based TV: Recurring ads and ad loads on free catch-up TV services.
A recent report from Edentify says more than one-third (36%) of respondents who watched catch-up TV took issue with ads loads, saying there were far to any and also expressing annoyance that “they play the same ads all the time.”
The good news? Edentify’ IPTV in Australia report showed a slight decline in the ire provoked by ad loads; last year, the number was 42%.
Interestingly, the percentage of people dissatisfied with the amount of programming available increased a whopping 60% from 10% in 2014 to 16% in 2015.
Those two issues could significantly slow the growth of commercial catch-up services, but pose the conundrum: If not ads, what?
One answer, of course, is to use analytics to provide better targeting of advertising, even on a minimal basis.
Another is to simply expand the ad content, especially in-house ads that can be more aggressively rotated.
Of more concern, perhaps, is that consumers showed a little less love for catch-up services than they did year ago.
In 2014, 76% said they liked commercial catch-up services because they were free; in 2015, that number was 71%.
And, the satisfaction with being able to watch shows at will also dipped. In 2014 54% cited that as a reason, in 2015 it was down to 50%.
While the declines weren’t huge, they do, perhaps presage a decline in popularity as more content comes online through services like Netflix, Presto and the rest.
At the very least, catch-up services will now be judged against tougher competition, even though it costs a few bucks a month.
Although slightly more consumers say they use a free-to-air catch-up service to access online content (76%, up from 74% a year ago), the number of Australians saying they used a subscription streaming service were up significantly to 39% from 29% in 2014.
Credit there needs to go to Netflix, which launched in Australia in March and has seen enormous uptake in the past nine months.
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