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Aussie SVOD Subscriptions Top 2 Million

8 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix, new local services up subs 635% from 315,000 at the end of 2014

Netflix’s arrival in March in Australia (and New Zealand) coupled with renewed competition from local services, has resulted in 2 million (1.5 million paid) subscription streaming customers down under since the end of June, according to new data from technology analyst firm Telsyte.

In addition to Netflix, other Aussie SVOD services include Stan — a joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media featuring major U.S. studios’ movies and TV shows, including Amazon Prime Instant Video’s Golden Globe-winning original series “Transparent,” by-mail disc/streaming hybrid Quickflix and Presto. Presto enables streaming to four separate devices, including two different titles. Subscribers can opt either for movies or TV shows.

The four services account for about 90% of all paid subs — the remainder taken up by sports and special interest programming. The average SVOD customer uses nearly two streaming services.

“The SVOD market is highly competitive, seasonal and unlikely to be a winner-takes-all marketplace,” Foad Fadaghi, managing director at Telsyte, said in a statement.

Interestingly, despite a spike in SVOD customers, almost 40% of Australian households that have SVOD services also have traditional pay-TV. TV broadcasters and ad-supported streaming services remain the most popular online video services. Telsyte estimates seven million Aussies view TV Everywhere platforms at least once a month.

Indeed, reduced pricing by Foxtel, Fetch TV and others in reaction to SVOD has seen an uptick in pay-TV subscriptions — estimated at 3.1 million at the end June, according to Telsyte.

SVOD and TV Everywhere services are expected to drive consumer demand for 4K (Ultra High-Definition) content delivered over the Internet. Telsyte said 22% of broadband users intend to upgrade their streaming speed as 53% believe their current broadband might not be fast enough for streaming video services.

The Sydney-based research firm contends telecom partnerships will be increasingly important to SVOD services to help drive subs that are used to wire-line broadband connections. Regardless, the surge in over-the-top video should underscore new market opportunities.

“The early success of SVOD providers will encourage more film studios and content rights holders, including sporting codes, to consider direct streaming to consumers,” Fadaghi said.

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