Advanced Television

NZ: Netflix nears 2m viewers

August 13, 2018

Shortly after revealing that Netflix was set to surpass 10 million viewers in Australia, findings from research firm Roy Morgan suggest that the SVoD service is growing even faster in New Zealand than across the Tasman in Australia.

Nearly 2 million New Zealanders in the June 2018 quarter now have a Netflix subscription in their household – up over 35 per cent on a year ago.

Now over 3 million New Zealanders have access to some form of pay-TV/Subscription TV, up 13.9 per cent on a year ago, and the growth in pay-TV/Subscription TV is being driven by the likes of Netflix, along with a suite of rival streaming services including Lightbox, Sky TV’s Neon and Amazon Prime Video.

Viewership of the combined Sky TV/Neon is growing slower than some of its rivals up 1.7 per cent to over 1.6 million viewers although Sky TV’s SVoD service Neon is growing significantly faster than its parent. Viewership of Neon is up a stunning 190.3 per cent to 295,000.

Lightbox is the second most popular SVoD service with 830,000 users (up 42.9 per cent on a year ago) ahead of Vodafone TV up 19.9 per cent to 295,000 and the rebranded YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red), now with over 100,000 users, up 79.9 per cent on a year ago. While the biggest percentage increase was for Amazon Prime Video coming off a low base but up 180.5 per cent to 118,000 users.

Internet retailer Amazon only launched its Amazon Prime Video in New Zealand in December 2017.

According to Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, SVoD is growing rapidly in popularity in New Zealand with leading services growing faster than across the Tasman in Australia. “Over 3 million New Zealanders now use pay-TV/Subscription TV services – up 13.9 per cent, or over 360,000 viewers, in a year. As in Australia the leading SVoD providers have experienced strong growth over the last year with Netflix now approaching 2 million viewers. In the June 2018 quarter Netflix had 1,912,000 viewers spread across around three-quarters of a million New Zealand households giving Netflix a market penetration of almost 49 per cent among New Zealanders aged 14+.”

“Although the growth in Netflix viewers clocked in at an impressive 35.9 per cent over the last year smaller rival services grew at even faster rates. Main rival Lightbox grew at 42.9 per cent, and the newly rebranded YouTube Premium grew at 79.9 per cent while Sky TV’s SVoD service Neon grew at an exceptional 190.3 per cent and the newly launched Amazon Prime Video grew at 180.5 per cent.”

“Of course it’s important to note that the market penetration of these smaller SVoD services is less than 10 per cent of the New Zealand adult population and these impressive growth rates are off small bases – under 50,000 viewers in the case of Amazon Prime Video.”

“In a changing media landscape the impressive performance of SVoD shows there are avenues to growth for incumbent media businesses challenged by new entrants into the market. Sky TV’s fast growing Neon SVoD service is a prime example of an existing media company adapting to the changing consumer habits of New Zealanders.”

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