The Brag Media
News October 27, 2015

Australian VOD users profiled for the first time

Australian VOD users profiled for the first time

Aussie video-on-demand (VOD) users are more discerning than cinema-goers, according to a new report from Screen Australia.

Figures from its Online and on Demand: Trends in Australian Online Video Use study show that 50% of Australians connected to the internet are VOD users. They come from all economic and social backgrounds and ages.

Only 59% of those surveyed click on to Hollywood movies. 31% head for Australian films, and 21% to independent/arthouse content.

Screen Australia described the report, released at the Screen Producers Association’s Screen Forever conference this week, as “the first major profile” of local VOD users. Data was collected by Nielsen with a sample of 1,593.

The report looks at consumption on TV broadcasters’ catch-up like the ABC’s iView and Seven’s Plus 7, ad supported services as YouTube, subscription services as Quickflix and Presto, and paid modes as iTunes. 43% of those using TV broadcasts catch-up (the most popular of VOD) go for Australian movies, compared to 45% of Hollywood content. Australian drama and comedy, as well as foreign TV shows, documentaries, horror and sci-fi are also in high demand.

One interesting trend is that 58% watch alone, and 88% say that watching alone is one of the ways they watch.

Major factors behind choice of VOD services are price, quality and immediate access. Up to 69% watch legally and only 3% admit to illegal use. But the fact that 25% access both legal and illegal show that getting what and when they want is a prime factor, and what content providers have to address.

Most Australian VOD users (67%) use laptops and PCs. 49% opt for a TV connected device, 24% use tablets and only 10% use their mobile phones.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said that while “There is much to be excited about in this space and new audience expectations about what services should offer,” the fact that up to 50% say they will not pay to watch would prove to be a problem.

“We can only expect the number of online viewers to grow with greater awareness, new services and better access developing in response to market demand. The challenge is to find ways to monetise content through these new platforms as they increasingly disrupt traditional business models and teach us to expect to have it all, easily and cheaply, at our fingertips and on any device.”

The VOD market is described by the report as “fragmented”. Factors as bandwidth, cost and lack of technical know-how on hooking up to systems are delaying a greater take up. Free to air TV, cinemas and DVD hire are still the predominant activities. The VOD sector is due for a shake-up, with the launch this month of Fairfax /Nine Network’s $100 million video venture Stan, the March arrival of Netflix and a possible joint venture by Seven West Media and Foxtel.

The full report is available on


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