Flexible TV viewing is on the rise, with 6.9 million Australians streaming more than 1.5 billion minutes of catch-up and live streaming content in the past month, according to the latest OzTAM VPM 28 Day Rolling and Live Streaming reports.
The figure represents a 25 per cent increase in television streaming over the past four months and a shift in the behaviours of Aussie TV audiences as they embrace new technology and platforms to access free-to-air OTT content.
The increase in audience size shows a record number of Australians streaming Free Video on Demand (FVoD). Of the 6.9 million Australians streaming OTT content, 5.8 million of those were watching FVoD, maintaining FTA’s strong dominance, compared to the 4.3 million Australians streaming Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD).
Elizabeth Ross, CEO of free-to-air DTT platform Freeview said: “On top of solid appointment viewing with FTA broadcast television being viewed by 83.7 per cent of people each week, Aussies are also choosing to watch additional content at a time, and in a way, that suits them best.”
“Whether it’s catch up TV on TV screens, or live streaming their favourite drama during the evening commute on a mobile, flexible OTT, TV viewing is on the rise. Australian broadcasters are leading the world through innovation and investment into making their content available on different platforms and devices, and Australians are taking full advantage,” she added.
The promotion of engaging content across tenplay, 9Now, PLUS7, ABC iview and SBS on Demand has also contributed to the increase, with free programming such as SBS’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Network Ten’s The Bachelor Australia, ABC’s Utopia, Seven’s Yummy Mummies and Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior resonating with Australian audiences.
In July 2017, Freeview revealed a major upgrade to its HbbTV service Freeview Plus, with new features designed to simplify content discovery and offer a more personalised user experience. There are currently around 2.3 million TV receivers in Australia that are Freeview Plus-enabled with an 85 per cent connection rate.
In November 2016, Freeview launched Freeview FV, a world-first mobile app which delivers live streaming from 20 free-to-air TV channels and catch-up content from all broadcasters with just one click. Freeview FV has since been updated to support Chromecast.