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Netflix chases down free-to-air competitors

Peter Terlato 30 September 2017 NEWS

Netflix vs TV large

The streaming giant now has 7.6 million subscribers.

Netflix Australia's popularity has been on a tear since its inception, less than three years ago, in March 2015.

The streaming platform has amassed a substantial user database. An estimated 7,558,000 Australians aged 14+ (37.7%) had Netflix in the three months to June 2017, up from 4,453,000 (22.6%) in the March quarter 2016.

Roy Morgan Research's latest findings indicate this significant growth in potential viewership is owing to a rise in household subscriptions in 2017, up 13.2% from March 2016 to 31.8% of Aussie homes in June 2017.

Examining individual viewership levels among Australia's free-to-air broadcasters, in an average seven days between March 2016 and June 2017, Network 7 lost 2.3% of its viewership, down to 64.4%.

Rival Network 9's viewership drop-off over the same period was worse, down 4.1% to 60.1%, while Network 10 witnessed a 1.7% reduction in television watchers, down to 50.4% of the total population.

Average viewership levels among government-backed broadcasters were mixed. ABC lost 3.3% of its audience, down to 56.3% of Australians, while SBS was the only TV network to register an increase, up 0.7% to 43.2%.

Roy Morgan has been tracking Netflix Australia's growth since its launch and thus far, it hasn't let up.

"However, the recent purchase of Network 10 by giant US broadcaster CBS does provide a new competitive dynamic for Australian broadcasters going forward," Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michele Levine said.

CBS, the American network behind programs such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Big Bang Theory, will assume control of the troubled Ten Network after its recent descent into voluntary administration.

Wondering how Netflix Australia stacks up next to online streaming competitors, such as Stan, or pay TV networks, like Foxtel? Discover everything you need to know about Australia's favourite SVOD service.

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