Has SVOD Peaked In Australia (As Seven West Reportedly Eyes Presto Exit)?

Has SVOD Peaked In Australia (As Seven West Reportedly Eyes Presto Exit)?
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Netflix aside, it appears Australians’ appetite for subscription video on demand (SVOD) services may be starting to peak amid suggestions the local market is over-supplied with players.

According to Deloitte’s Australian Media Consumer Survey released late last week, about 22 per cent of Australians pay for an SVOD service. However, the numbers grew rapidly from (a base of zero) from about 18 months ago but are showing signs of peaking.

When the concept launched in Australia in 2015, a number of local players quickly jumped into the market to try and steal a march on the all-conquering Netflix.

However, The Australian is this morning reporting that Seven West Media wants to pull out of Presto, the SVOD joint venture it has with Foxtel.

The OZ is reporting that Seven is reluctant to invest anymore dollars into the JV which is a distant third in terms of Australian subscribers behind Netflix and (the Fairfax-Nine JV) Stan.

However, according to the Deloitte’s survey, it’s not that Aussies don’t like the idea of SVOD, it’s just we can be a little hesitant to pay for it with the majority still preferring to be entertained by free-to-air.

Deloitte financial advisory leader Clare Harding said, “It’s still early days for SVOD in Australia, with respondents experimenting with what these subscriptions have to offer. In order to access their desired content, 18 per cent of SVOD subscribers have more than one service, with two-thirds of multi-subscribers expecting to maintain two or more services in the future.”

When consumers are willing to pay, however, it’s because they are looking for more in-depth news analysis (52 per cent). This desire for more detail has increased significantly from 33 per cent last year, replacing ‘trust and association with the brand’ as the most compelling reason to pay.

Harding also said that while more of us are choosing to pay for the content we want, we’re still multi-tasking, in fact more than ever.

“88 per cent of us are multi-tasking whilst watching TV, up from 60 per cent in 2012. Having said that, either because we’re more immersed in the content or because the smartphone does so much for us, we are using fewer devices when multi-tasking – down from two to one this year,” she said

According to Harding the uptake of SVOD subscriptions shows an increased comfort in paying for video content, which may be influencing our multi-tasking behaviours. Some 70 per cent of respondents believed they pay closer attention to content that they have paid to watch.

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