A discussion with Mike Sneesby (CEO, Stan), Shaun James (CEO, Presto), Stephen Langsford (CEO, Quickflix), Scott Lorson (CEO, Fetch TV) and Rebekah Horne (Chief Digital Officer, Network TEN)
“There is still a large amount of education required with the Australian audience” – Mike Sneesby, CEO, Stan
This quote holds very true with the state of streaming in Australia, and not just for consumers, but also with content providers, service providers and media networks.
There is still a lot to learn about streaming video on demand (SVOD) services and how it is impacting television viewing in Australia. But over the last year of local SVOD development, we have gained some eye-opening knowledge across many aspects of this new paradigm shift of video content consumption.
A Second Prime-Time
The first discovery is that of the creation of second prime-time – seen from about 9pm to midnight – which has been observed across all SVOD services. This means that while overall still a competitor to FTA/STV services, SVOD does not necessarily mean the death of prime time TV, and could actually be an opportunity to provide a new, de-lineated, device-agnostic, on-demand TV sweet spot to provide content with extended reach (given Nine backs Stan and Seven and Foxtel back Presto). This has implications for potentially re-invigorated late fringe TV viewing – a daypart which normally sees an audience drop-off from 9:30/10:30pm on broadcast TV.
A Bigger Pie?
Scott Lorson of Fetch TV has found that FTA consumers have been moving more towards timeshifting and catchup – not necessarily SVOD services. So, SVOD may not be necessarily taking from current FTA audiences. This brings up the perception of SVOD killing broadcast TV, when the question could actually be: Is SVOD actually growing the market?
Duplicated audiences is to be expected
But can all the players play fair in the market? It could definitely be so! Unlike the music streaming world, content between Stan, Presto and Netflix (the current market leader as of today) is highly differentiated, with each offering a different catalogue of movies and shows (so far). This means that competition isn’t necessarily so fierce. With each service low in cost (at around $10 a month), subscription of multiple services is already expected, particularly when comparing to the nearest competitor of Foxtel, whose monthly subscription starts from $25 – that’s two and a half SVOD subscriptions!
Integrations are the only way in for brands
When it comes to the monetary side of things – we’ve also learned (just at Mumbrella 360) that ad-funded models are not on the long-term roadmap. Being in advertising, this is a bit of a wall for getting our clients in front of audiences on SVOD platforms. However, on questioning, the SVOD services are definitely open to quality, local content (which includes integrations) with international appeal. This is good news for brands who may want to reach the growing SVOD audience, especially if they want to flex their quality production muscles.
There is no scarcity on SVOD
And in terms of getting content onto the SVOD platforms – the key principle is: if the content is good, the cost to bring it on board to the service is minimal. There is less competition between content, as there is no time scarcity with SVOD, unlike programmed FTA and STV.
Diversity is a lucrative market
Finally, it’s also important to remember that diverse content is also an important market. Lorson broke it down, and then noted that there are 1.5 million households who don’t speak English as their main language at the dinner table – which is a lot of eyes!
We are still in the early days of a burgeoning SVOD market in Australia. And with 2015 heralding the rise of SVOD, brands should keep a close eye on its development should they want to jump in and swim in the stream.