Viewers in Australia feel overwhelmed in streaming battleground

Monday, October 14th, 2019
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Viewers feel overwhelmed in streaming battleground

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,” Ms Chang said.

“Our survey found that 50% 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% of respondents find it hard to know what content is on what service, and 75% 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.

“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%), streaming services (20%) and studios/networks (15%) all fared poorly compared to financial institutions and telcos (70% and 61% respectively).

“A whopping 78% of respondents believe companies aren’t taking adequate steps to protect their personal data. This is an improvement from 85% 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% of respondents believing they should have the right to ask a company to delete their data, and 65% indicating interest in editing what’s collected.

“However, of the 62% believing they should be able to request their data be deleted, only 31% would do so if it meant losing features like personalised recommendations.

“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% 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%.

“At the end of the day, good content will likely win audiences. If services nail the content offering, they will come out on top.”

Think print is dead? Think again

This year sees a slight drop in the number of respondents owning newspaper and magazine subscriptions, now at 15% and 8% respectively, compared to 17% and 11% last year.

“Although we’ve seen a marginal drop in newspaper and magazine subscriptions, we’ve actually found that most respondents still prefer physical print versions (59%) over digital versions (24%), proving that print is a valuable component of the media landscape,” Mr Power said.

“Another interesting trend is the loyalty subscribers are showing, with 57% of newspaper and 55% of magazine subscribers holding their subscription for more than three years.”

Podcasts prevail

Podcasts have steadily grown in popularity over the years, with 44% of overall respondents identifying as podcast listeners, and Trailing and Leading Millennials ranking the highest users (59% and 57% 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,” Mr Power said.

“The most popular genre of podcast is news and current affairs (36%), followed by comedy (28%), and true crime (25%). 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%) as opposed to on the move, with 28% listening in the car and only 15% listening on public transport.

“While there is a growing demand for podcasts, only 16% 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.”

About the survey

Focused on four generations and five distinct age groups, the 2019 edition of the Deloitte Media Consumer Survey provides a view of how people are consuming media and entertainment, particularly digital media and entertainment. We explore how this is changing and take a closer look at the behaviours, preferences and trends impacting the industry as well as how they may shift in the future.

This is the eighth consecutive year of undertaking this research in Australia. The survey is undertaken annually by an independent research organisation using self-reported survey data from more than 2,000 consumers surveyed in Australia. Each year the survey is run, new questions or response options are added and some older questions or responses are removed. This allows us to explore the new and emerging behaviours and trends in media and entertainment consumption.