More Australians than ever are logging on to Internet TV and pre-recorded programmes, spelling the end for traditional formats, according to new research just released.
Viewers here are also among the highest users of the online TV platform currently within Australasia, watching 19 hours of content broadcast over the web each week, topped only by the Japanese at 21 hours and followed by China at 16 hours.
However, free to air services are currently the favourite among digital offerings in Australia, with a 96 percent viewing rate, meaning a very small number are paying to view digital tv content here.
The findings come as Optus is about to amplify its IPTV and are said to be in talks with companies including FetchTV to provide the pay-TV, which would offer ready-to-go digital set-top box and PVR, as well as other pay as you go channels and movies, for an optimum fee of around $30 a month after an initial $99 join-up cost.
Telstra also recently launched their T Box BigPond offering, and with Google TV and Apple TV all getting in on the online television content act, as well as a host of other competitors who are moving into the IPTV market here, means Foxtel’s dominant position days are numbered.
As previously reported by ChannelNews, the biggest problems for Foxtel is the emergence of new HD TV Channels such as Go, Gem, 7TWO, 7Mate and ABC 1 and 3 from the ABC, which has allowed free to air networks and the ABC to deliver new content streams similar to what Foxtel offer at no cost to consumers.
Australian audiences are still doing most of their viewing within the home and have very little interest in accessing paid content outside of the home, and this trend went almost across the board, according to the survey.
This could be partly attributable to the lack of paid-for services currently available on the market apart from Foxtel.
Japanese and Singaporean audiences also showed similar enthusiasm for free-to-air services.
Viewers in South East Asia and China, on the other hand, showed a marked preference to paid-for television services over free content, despite being more readily available.
However, despite this love for IPTV, Aussie viewers are eschewing other technologies including 3DTV, with just one in five saying they will be watching programmes from a 3D box set in two years time.
For IPTV, two out of five said they either use or intend to use this technology by 2012.
The TV mix is now firmly steering towards a mix of Internet content, on-demand and pre-recorded video, confirms Motorola who carried out the survey, although willingness to payfor new services also highlighted regional cultural differences across Australasia.
Just two out of five Australians said they would be willing to change service providers in order to get a better service, indicating that the possible lack of alternatives until very recently, has led to audiences becoming complacent with their current service offering.
“Service providers need to develop a keen understanding of their customer’s cultural, technological and economic needs in each market and be agile enough to roll out services that meet specific requirements and desires,” says Kevin Keefe, VP Motorola Mobility.
This means having content and delivery platforms in place to react to customer demand, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
The Motorola backed study looked at the viewing habits of 7,500 internet-using consumers in 13 markets.