Netflix may rule Australian streaming, but Presto and Stan are catching up

Alex Kidman 27 June 2016 NEWS


Report suggests Netflix’s dominance of the Aussie streaming market is being seriously challenged by growth in subscriber numbers at Presto and Stan.

A new Australian SVOD/OTT Video Market Study 2016 report from analyst firm Telsyte casts new light on Australian habits when it comes to streaming media. While similar studies all show that there’s Netflix is out in front and everyone else trailing far behind, Telsyte's report suggests that Netflix is being challenged significantly by Presto and Stan, whose overall growth figures are more rapid than Netflix.

This is especially true according to the study because a larger proportion of Australian households subscribe to more than one streaming service. In total, it’s expected that there will be 2.7 million active streaming services in Australia in June 2016. The average streaming household has access to 1.7 services, up from 1.5 services twelve months ago. Those aren’t exclusively paid subscriptions, with around 800,000 trial services part of the mix. Collectively, 43% of Australian households access streaming video or Pay-TV services.

Growth figures suggest by mid-2019 those figures will expand out to some 4.1 million services, at which point it’s expected that Pay TV services such as Foxtel will be eclipsed by purely IP-based services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto.

Those three providers account for around 85% of local subscriptions, with the remaining 15% covered by more single-niche services such as dedicated sports and special interest streaming niches like the upcoming Optus EPL sports channel.

The use of SVOD requires a data subscription whether you’re streaming over fixed or mobile broadband. In the fixed space unlimited or very high quota plans are quite normal now, but there’s no such thing as an unlimited mobile data service in Australia, and it’s unlikely we’ll see one in the medium term.

The report’s figures suggest that if you’re a mobile SVOD streamer, the chances are you’re using around 30% of your mobile data quota on video content. That’s no particular surprise when you consider that even at SD quality, you’ll typically burn through 1GB of data for an hour’s worth of watching. It also appears that we’re more aware of that than we used to be, with the typical SVOD data user subscribing to a mobile data plan with a 65% larger data cap.

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