Netflix-Boosted SVOD Services Overtake Foxtel For The First Time

Written by Martin Kovacs     08/09/2016 | 13:53 | Category: INDUSTRY

More Australians now have a streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) service than Foxtel, according to Roy Morgan Research.

Netflix-Boosted SVOD Services Overtake Foxtel For The First TimeIn the six months to August, 9.8 million Australians 14+ (50 per cent) had one or more types of paid TV services in their home (SVOD, pay TV - linear, broadcast Foxtel channels, and IPTV), according to Roy Morgan, with SVOD overtaking linear pay TV for the first time, 5,595,000 (28 per cent) to 5,309,000 (27 per cent).

Netflix is responsible for the bulk of this growth, however Stan, Presto, Quickflix, YouTube Red and Foxtel's own SVOD service Foxtel Play can now be found in the homes of around 1.4 million Australians (while over 60 per cent of these subscribers also have Netflix).

However, while SVOD has risen at a rapid rate since the arrival of Netflix, the number of people with Foxtel's linear pay TV has also risen over the period, by an average of nearly 100,000 per quarter.

IPTV, including both Fetch and Foxtel through T-Box, has also increased in the past year, with 629,000 Australians now having IPTV in the home, up around 100,000 since the beginning of SVOD's rise.

Australians paying for TV: Pay TV, IPTV or SVOD
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, March 2013 - August 2016, six-month samples rolling quarterly, average sample n=15,447 Australians 14+

"This week, Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh announced the pay TV provider plans to better compete with Netflix and Stan in the blossoming subscription video on demand market by both enhancing and discounting Foxtel Play," Michele Levine, Roy Morgan Research CEO, commented.

"At the ASTRA subscription media conference in Sydney, he reportedly highlighted that the 'vast majority' of TV viewing is still 'live and linear' - that is, watched via a broadcast - but that Foxtel knows it still needs to develop some kind of competitive foothold in SVOD."

Levine noted that while free-to-air television is reaching nine in 10 Australians, the Roy Morgan research shows "when it comes to paying for content, SVOD is already now more common than linear Foxtel".

"Foxtel's long-term strength will, as Mr Tonagh noted, be in offering live sport and linear programming, including premium content sourced through its deal with HBO," she commented.

"However, as more Australians choose to access content on demand, Foxtel will need to find creative ways to straddle both markets, which appeal to quite different people, with different budgets, tastes and habits."