Australian consumers are feeling overwhelmed with the number of content streaming options available in the media landscape, according to Deloitte’s eighth annual Media Consumer Survey.
The streaming battleground has confused audiences, suggesting aggregation could be one solution to the problem.
There are currently more than 12 TV and movie services and eight music streaming services available in Australia, and this number will rise as new players enter the market. This could lead to either more distributed content across providers, or more unique content libraries if rights remain exclusive.
Deloitte Lead Technology, Media & Telco (TMT) Partner, Kimberly Chang, said the digital landscape has undergone rapid change and it’s not about to stop.
“Consumers are continuing to have to manage an increasingly complex content environment,” she said. “Our survey found that 50 per cent of respondents with subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services said they need more than one service to access the video content they want, subscribing to an average of 1.5 paid video streaming services.
“We also found that 46 per cent of respondents find it hard to know what content is on what service, and 75 per cent want to be able to search for all content in one place. This puts the organisation or platform that can offer a true aggregation option in a very strong position to win over consumers and drive high user satisfaction. Pay-TV providers, telcos and digital giants such as Amazon and Apple TV are perfectly positioned to develop their existing services and become aggregation power houses,” Chang added. “As rights shift and new services launch, content is becoming even more dispersed, creating serious challenges in both experience and expense. Families who want to watch Disney for the kids, the latest seasons of Game of Thrones, premier league sports matches and ad-free music and podcasts could pay upwards of $70 a month – not far from the pay-TV prices of earlier days.”
Data & advertising – at what cost?
How much advertising is tolerable? And just how much data are we prepared to exchange for a more personalised experience? The willingness of a consumer to provide data depends on whether the service they get in return meets their expectations.
Deloitte Lead Media Partner, Adam Power, said: “Media companies have some work to do gaining the trust of their customers. When asked which top three companies respondents trust most with their data, pay-TV (25 per cent), streaming services (20 per cent) and studios/networks (15 per cent) all fared poorly compared to financial institutions and telcos (70 per cent and 61 per cent respectively).
“A whopping 78 per cent of respondents believe companies aren’t taking adequate steps to protect their personal data. This is an improvement from 85 per cent last year but this high figure reflects sustained levels of distrust. We also found a desire for ownership and control of personal data, with 62 per cent of respondents believing they should have the right to ask a company to delete their data, and 65 per cent indicating interest in editing what’s collected. However, of the 62 per cent believing they should be able to request their data be deleted, only 31 per cent would do so if it meant losing features like personalised recommendations,” he continued.
“When we look at advertising, it is pretty clear that when paying for an SVoD service, most consumers don’t want ads. A staggering 89 per cent of subscribers value that their SVoD service comes without ads. However, more than half of Millennials said they would be willing to view ads if it reduced the cost of subscription by at least 25 per cent. At the end of the day, good content will likely win audiences. If services nail the content offering, they will come out on top, ” added Power.
Podcasts have steadily grown in popularity over the years, with 44 per cent of overall respondents identifying as podcast listeners, and Trailing and Leading Millennials ranking the highest users (59 per cent and 57 per cent respectively).
“Word of mouth is still the search engine of choice when looking for new podcasts with respondents listing friends, family and social media as the top three ways to find new content,” Power said. “The most popular genre of podcast is news and current affairs (36 per cent), followed by comedy (28 per cent), and true crime (25 per cent). Unsurprisingly, across all age groups, the strongest driver for listening to podcasts is to learn something new. We also found that despite the flexible listening format of a podcast, most respondents listen to them at home (66 per cent) as opposed to on the move, with 28 per cent listening in the car and only 15 per cent listening on public transport.”
“While there is a growing demand for podcasts, only 16 per cent of total listeners have paid to listen to a podcast, and that payment is most commonly for an individual episode on websites rather than dedicated services. However, subscription music services such as Spotify have emerged as a key platform for podcasts, with almost a third of all listeners accessing them through such services,” concluded Power.