Screen Australia – the Commonwealth Government screen agency providing support to Australian film, television, documentary and digital media makers – has released research looking at the programming strategies of all five free-to-air television catch-up services in the country. The research reveals that Australian content dominates catch-up services with 58 per cent of all hours being Australian.
Screen Australia’s Strategy and Research Manager Matthew Deaner said, “With 94 per cent of Australians consuming on average three hours of television a day, networks’ on-demand services will play a key role in driving online viewing as the market matures.
“The moves taken by the biggest media companies into emerging markets online are what potentially set the trends for audiences. It’s important for the industry to understand the broadcasters programming strategies and what’s on offer in the online space,” said Deaner.
Over the past four years, all five free-to-air broadcasters have launched dedicated ‘catch-up’ websites offering recently broadcast television programmes on demand. This commitment from established media players to delivering content via the internet is a clear indicator of the evolving ways in which audiences are engaging with long-form screen content.
While their primary purpose is to enable viewers to ‘catch up’ with popular programming, catch-up television services do more than just duplicate the primetime broadcast schedule. They also provide alternative programming to the broadcast offerings, including archives of programmes that have aired on Australian free-to-air television in the past and a limited amount of content that has not aired locally at all.