Australia is experiencing an increased uptake of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services delivered over the internet. Around two million active Australian SVoD subscriptions were recorded at the end of June 2015, according to a report from Telsyte. Australia ended 2014 with 315,000 subscriptions. The report shows this substantial customer base growth has been driven by the arrival of new services such as Netflix and Stan, free trial periods, and promotions offered by the ISPs, mobile carriers and TV manufacturers.

Around 1.5 million of these subscriptions have been converted to fee paying (no longer on a trial) and generated more than AUD 17 million in revenues in the month of June. The paid subscriber market leaders, in order, are: Netflix, Stan, Presto and Quickflix, the report shows. Together, the top 4 account for nearly 90 percent of all paid subscriptions.

SVOD services are currently delivered over broadband internet connections rather than traditional broadcast television signals. Most service providers support set-top boxes (e.g. Apple TV), computers and post-PC devices (smartphones and tablets) for viewing. However, two-thirds of people use their TV as their main screen to watch SVOD services.

A web of streaming content rights as well as the availability of free trials has resulted in SVOD subscribers having an average of 1.6 services. The study indicates streaming Catch-up TV, SVOD and traditional Pay TV will co-exist. At end-June, some 40 percent of Australian households that had SVOD services also had traditional pay-TV connections. Australia had 3.1 million pay-TV subscriptions at the end of June.

The report also indicates that, despite the rise of SVOD, public broadcaster and advertising-supported streaming services remain the most popular online video services in Australia. Around seven million Australians 16 years and over, regularly (at least once a month) view catch-up TV services such as the ABC’s iView and Channel Nine’s 9Jumpin.

SVoD and catch-up TV services are expected to drive demand for high-speed broadband upgrades, particularly with the arrival of 4K (UHD) content over the internet. The research shows that 1 in 5 broadband users (22%) intend to upgrade their fixed broadband due to streaming video. Over 53 percent believe their current fixed broadband might not be fast enough for streaming video services.