There are now 2,677,000 Australians (14+) who have Netflix in the home, with the number of households with a Netflix subscription rising again in October to 1,039,000 (11.4 per cent), subscription VoD data from Roy Morgan Research shows.
For the majority of Netflix subscribers, this is their first time paying for TV. In the year preceding the arrival of Netflix, over seven in 10 Australians lived in a home without any paid TV service; as of October, this had declined to 58 per cent.
According to the research firm, the rise of SVoD, dominated by Netflix, is perhaps impacting Australians’ DVD and downloading habits. In the six months to September 2015, fewer Australians have been buying or renting DVDs or downloading TV shows or movies.
The findings also reveal that 20.6 per cent of Australians bought a DVD and 15.3 per cent rented one in an average three-month period in the six months to September 2014—down to 19.3 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively during the six months after Netflix launched. The rate of downloading TV or movies has also declined: from 10.8 per cent a year ago to 9.1 per cent now.
According to Tim Martin, General Manager – Media, Roy Morgan Research, the trends suggest it may not be long before the majority of Australian homes are paying for TV content through one or more Pay or Subscription TV providers. “The impacts of Netflix, as well as Foxtel’s broadening range of options and now Telstra TV, will be felt across multiple areas: from the reach of commercial television and how much time we spend watching free-to-air channels, to our internet data limits and uptake of the NBN, sales of DVDs and Blu-Rays, and our attitudes to what content we’ll pay for and what we expect to get for free.
Australians have been notorious for their high levels of illegal downloading. While our figures of course include legal downloads, it is notable that the younger, tech-savvy people most likely to download TV shows and movies have been the quickest to subscribe to Netflix—and the overall rate of downloading has declined.
A year ago, just over one in five 14-24 year-olds downloaded TV shows or movies in an average month—today, around 22 per cent of this group lives in a Netflix home, and the rate of downloading has fallen sharply to 15 per cent.”