Data from research firm Roy Morgan shows 8.6 million Australians now watch Broadcast Video on Demand’(BVoD) services which include ABC iView, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9Now and 10 Play.
All five leading services have grown strongly during 2020 as Australians endured a nation-wide lockdown from late March until early June and Victorians experienced a second, longer, lockdown soon after.
Some 8.6 million Australians (40.6 per cent) now view at least one of the BVoD services in an average four weeks and ABC iView is the clear market leader with 5.13 million viewers, up a large 2.12 million (+70.7 per cent) from a year ago.
SBS On Demand is in a clear second place and now viewed by 4.08 million Australians in an average four weeks representing an increase of 1.49 million (+57.6 per cent) from a year ago.
However, the fastest growth over the last year has been for the traditional commercial broadcasters Seven, Nine and Ten which have all more than doubled their viewership.
The leader of the three is the Seven Network’s 7plus which is now viewed by 2.68 million Australians, an increase of 1.5 million (+125.8 per cent) from a year ago.
Close behind is the Nine Entertainment Company’s 9Now which is viewed by 2.49 million Australians, up 1.25 million (+101 per cent) on a year ago and Network 10’s 10 Play now viewed by 2.29 million Australians, up 1.41 million (+159.6 per cent).
This new data comes from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s most comprehensive consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the lockdown during 2020 provided a big boost to Subscription TV and this growth has also been experienced by their Free TV counterparts including ABC iView, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9Now and 10 Play. “Almost 8.6 million Australians are now watching at least one of the Video on Demand services offered by Australia’s Free-To-Air broadcasters the ABC, SBS and the leading commercial channels 7, 9 & 10 – growth of nearly 3.5 million (+66.7 per cent) on 2019,” she says.
“This growth for ‘Broadcast Video on Demand’ is faster (and larger) than experienced by Subscription TV over the same period which was up 2.4 million (+16.2 per cent) on 2019 to 17.3 million.
“It’s true that the overall audience for Subscription TV is about twice the size but the results over the last year show that Australians are increasingly discovering there are free alternatives to paying a monthly fee to providers such as Netflix, Foxtel, Stan, Amazon or Disney.
“ABC iView has been a clear market leader and now has over 5.1 million viewers – up 2.1 million (+70.7 per cent) on a year ago and has over 1 million more viewers than fellow government broadcaster SBS On Demand with around 4 million viewers (up almost 1.5 million on a year ago).”
“Although they’ve been later to enter the market the leading commercial channels are making big inroads. 7Plus leads with nearly 2.7 million viewers ahead of 9Now on 2.5 million and 10 Play on 2.3 million.”
“All three networks have more than doubled the number of people watching their Video on Demand services over the last year which provide easy access to programmes already shown on their multiple broadcast channels as well as additional content not shown on the regular channels.”
“As we emerge from a year of lockdowns and curfews the increasing competition in the Video on Demand market which includes both Subscription TV services such as Netflix, Foxtel and Stan as well as the free-to-air alternatives of the ABC, SBS and Channels 7, 9 & 10 is set to intensify and bodes well for consumers hungry for new content,” she advises.