The number of Australians watching IPTV is growing, according to a new report by research company Edentify, which found 48% of people watched a TV program or movie online in the past month.
Edentify’s report: ‘IPTV in Australia: Attitudes and Viewing Habits’ has revealed more people are tuning in to IPTV and online TV platforms as the barriers to entry decline and awareness of the services increases.
The number of people who watched online TV and would try it again grew from 34% to 41% during the first half of 2014. Conversely the number of people who rejected the services after watching online TV dropped from 10% to just 4%.
The findings were sourced from Cafestudy, Edentify’s dedicated online research community, which interviewed a sample of 1,750 people aged 18+ across Australia.
The findings identified three key audience segments: Adopters, people who watch online TV and plan to continue to do so, Passives, people who have never watched online TV but are open to it, and Rejectors, people who have no plans to watch TV online in the future.
The research found the number of IPTV Adopters is growing, increasing from 53% to 62% over the past six months; conversely the number of IPTV Rejectors has dropped from 28% to 19% during the same period.
Dan Banyard, Director of Edentify, says the research reveals changing attitudes towards online TV and IPTV services.
“This research clearly shows that the size of the audience who are currently consuming IPTV content is growing. Australian viewers have a positive appetite towards online TV content and as more players enter the market we can only imagine this appetite will grow.”
“This is very promising for the market in Australia, which is a fair way behind other overseas markets in terms of quality and availability. ”
The cost of downloads and an unwillingness to pay for higher limits remains a strong barrier to entry (18%), alongside slow or poor internet connections (13%), however the biggest barrier remains a lack of interest (20%) and a preference for watching TV on a large screen (17%).
Convenience, variety and catching up on missed programs, remain the key drivers to viewing online, however audiences also see fewer ads as another advantage to online TV services.
“While it comes as no surprise that convenience and variety are the biggest drivers behind audience viewing habits, it is important to note that among the Adopter segment the main driver for online viewing is fewer ads,” said Banyard.
“This presents a significant challenge for the media industry, as it raises the issue of whether quality content can be delivered in a financially viable way. The popularity of transaction-based content providers, such as iTunes, suggests there is an audience that is willing to pay for quality content.”
When it comes to channels, YouTube boasts the highest viewership of the IPTV offerings, followed by ABC iView, Plus7 and tenplay. iTunes scored highest of paid services ahead of Foxtel Play and Netflix.
Adopters are the largest consumers of media in general, with 15% doing most or all of their viewing online, while 23% claim to view an equal amount of TV and IPTV.
“When you consider that 15% of the Adopter segment are now consuming IPTV content almost exclusively, this represents a massive opportunity for content providers and for advertisers looking to target this audience. Obviously, though it also poses a much bigger challenge for the advertising and media industry when you consider that nearly 60% of this group are under 40 years of age,” said Banyard.
Free to air catch up services remain the most popular platforms for watching TV online with 91% of Adopters and 53% of Passives viewing content this way. However Adopters are also accessing viewing content via files from friends (71%), streaming websites (51%) and Peer-to-Peer sharing (49%).
– 59% watched a program online in the past month
– 98% are aware of at least one IPTV channel
– 4% view only online TV, while 23% view an equal amount of TV and IPTV.
– 58% of Adopters are under 40 years and 80% are aged 50 or under.
– 10% watched a program online in the past month
– 79% are aware of at least one IPTV channel
– 63% of Passives are aged 40 or over
– 6% have watched a TV program online in the past month
– 63% aware of at least one IPTV channel
– 44% of Rejectors are aged 50 or over