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Netflix dominates Australian SVoD market

June 23, 2015

Within two months of its local launch, over a million Australians across 400,000 households had signed up to Netflix, the latest Streaming Video On Demand (SVoD) data from Roy Morgan Research shows. But will the numbers flatten or decline as the introductory free trials end—or really rocket up now the latest season of Game of Thrones has finished on Foxtel?

Netflix launched in Australia on March 24, although some estimates say over 200,000 Australians may have previously signed up to the service, using geo-blocks to stream US or UK content. Officially, in April, 766,000 Australians in 296,000 homes were subscribed. By May, this had grown to 1,039,000 in 408,000 households.

According to the research firm, the $40 billion US giant has clearly taken an early—and perhaps insurmountable—lead in the new world of on-demand subscription television in Australia, securing over ten times more subscriptions than its nearest (and locally-owned) competitors.

By May, just 97,000 Australians were subscribed to Presto, from Foxtel and Seven West Media; 91,000 had Stan, which Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media launched in January; 43,000 had Quicklix; and 40,000 had Foxtel Play, the streaming version of its pay-TV offering.

According to Tim Martin, General Manager – Media, Roy Morgan Research, the company’s subscription TV data on Netflix and its local competitors reveals it’s so far been a one-sided battle.

“But our early research also shows that the war’s far from over, especially when it comes to Foxtel. Over 5 million Australians live in a household subscribed to Foxtel, whether directly or as bundled with other services through a telecommunications provider such as Telstra or Optus—and this currently includes around 300,000 Netflix subscribers. Are they adding Netflix, and planning to keep Foxtel too? Or were they holding on to Foxtel until Game of Thrones wrapped up season five last week,” he wondered.

“In the SVoD space, Netflix’s dominance is clear. Up to half of all subscribers to Stan, Quickflix or Presto are also subscribed to Netflix—perhaps binging for a month on free content across the options, preparing to make a decision about which, if any, earns their continuing monthly spend. But it also might not be an either-or proposition. As each has different content available, many Australian TV lovers may choose to subscribe to multiple SVoD providers, switching between Orange is the New Black on Netflix, Better Call Saul on Stan, the HBO back catalogue on Presto and a new release movie (or delayed Game of Thrones marathon) on Quickflix,” he suggested.

“With each new month of incoming data collected from over 2000 Australian around the country, we’ll be better able to track and understand how SVoD is impacting the Australian media landscape,” he advised.

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