Federal Parliament’s Streaming Video Service Pulling Audiences Bigger Than Some PayTV Shows

Federal Parliament’s Streaming Video Service Pulling Audiences Bigger Than Some PayTV Shows

It’s the latest challenger for television audiences around Australia – Federal Parliament’s new streaming video service has been pulling bigger audiences than some PayTV programs.

John Hanrahan
Posted by John Hanrahan

The opening day of Parliament on Tuesday last week, highlighted by Senator Cory Bernardi’s defection from the Liberal Party and revelations that Australia Post chief Ahmed Fahour pay packet is worth $5.6 million, saw more than 13,000 people tune in.

And Wednesday’s fiery outburst by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at Opposition leader Bill Shorten, attracted more than 10,000.

Developed by Switch Media, the new webcasting service was launched late last year to coincide with the start of the 45th Parliament. Parliament’s new Online Video Platform enables parliamentary proceedings to be accessed live from any device and any operating platform for the first time.

The three days of the big four bank inquiry attracted an average audience of almost 13,000 viewers watching proceedings live from their mobile device or PC while over 16,000 people tuned in to Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in September.

Other big audience-pullers with more than 10,000 views were on days featuring MPs clashing over gun control, attacks on the ABC’s Four Corners and arguments about Medicare rebates.

Switch Media’s chief executive officer Christopher Stenhouse said the new technology solution ensured Parliament had a world class Online Video Platform that was packed full of features to enhance access to Parliament.

“While closed captioning has been previously available for video on demand content, this is the first time that a government or free-to-air broadcaster in Australia has delivered live closed captions for a live webcast across every platform,” he said.

“It enables viewers to stream from any mobile device or desktop across iOS, Android, macOS and Windows, rewind the stream up to five hours from live, and publish video-on-demand footage on the fly using Switch Media’s advanced Live2VOD tool.

“Switch Live2VOD is an end-to-end solution that captures live and linear streams, and encodes them to video on-demand (VOD) for fast video editing, publishing to mobile and web, and real-time sharing on social media.”

The new service, available via the Watch Read Listen section of the Parliament’s website , replaces the previous Windows Media Player hosted live streaming capability which was limited in functionality and accessibility.

The Online Video Platform streams 12 live streaming channels and 20 live audio only channels. It is an optimised hybrid solution hosted internally and in the cloud, to enhance the reliability and quality of the media streaming service.

The solution delivers the highest quality webcasting service and increases the functionality of webcasting of parliamentary proceedings, which has been available since 1999.

The new service also enables streamlined integration of video content with social platforms and provides easy access to footage up to 30 days after the event.