How much are Aussies willing to pay for TV content?

Channel surfing remote controlThe majority of Australians are still not willing to pay for TV content, but that could be about to change.

That’s one of the findings of a new Canstar Blue study, which also found that 23% of young Aussies are already utilising online streaming services like Stan, Presto, Quickflix and Netflix.

Most online streaming services in Australia are not even a year old yet – or in the case of Netflix, have only just released their local offering. Despite that, about one in ten adults are already using these services to watch their favourite TV shows and movies. And our findings indicate that young people are now favouring these online streaming services to Foxtel.

Young Australians are more inclined to pay for new content than their elders, which represents a significant opportunity for the emerging brands on the market. But a large number of adults aren’t yet willing to pay for content, which presents a challenge to streaming services trying to capture the greater market.

How do Aussies watch their favourite shows?

Which platforms do you use to watch TV shows and movies at home? (Multiple response) Overall % of respondents Gen Y (aged 18-39) Gen X (aged 40-59) Baby Boomers (aged 60+)
Free to air TV 89% 76% 85% 93%
Premium cable (e.g. Foxtel) 25% 17% 26% 26%
Online streaming services (e.g. Stan, Presto, Fetch TV, Quickflix, Netflix) 9% 23% 13% 5%
Catch-up on demand services (e.g. ABC iView, SBS On Demand) 29% 36% 30% 26%
Other online stores (e.g. iTunes, Google Play Store) 5% 6% 9% 3%

Source: www.canstarblue.com.au TV viewing habits survey March 2015.

Australia has traditionally had a lower take-up of pay-TV than other developed countries and the majority of consumers think all TV programs should be free to watch. However, young people in particular are starting to realise that if they want to see the latest episodes of their favourite show, they’ll have to pay for it.

 Statements  Overall % of respondents Gen Y (aged 18-39) Gen X (aged 40-59) Baby Boomers (aged 60+)
I expect TV programs to be instantly available regardless of which country they first go to air in  59% 74% 67% 53%
I believe all TV programs should be free to watch 86% 85% 86% 86%

Source: www.canstarblue.com.au TV viewing habits survey March 2015.

How much are we happy to pay for TV content?

More than half of the 2,500 survey respondents said they were not willing to pay for TV content, with free to air catch-up services being well utilised by a large number of Australians across all demographics. Around one in five are willing to pay up to $20 a month for a service that provides a majority of content they would like to see.

How much are you willing to pay monthly for services that provide a majority of content you’re interested in? Overall % of respondents Gen Y (aged 18-39) Gen X (aged 40-59) Baby Boomers (aged 60+)
I am not willing to pay 56% 49% 49% 60%
$0-10 13% 20% 16% 11%
$10-20 9% 14% 11% 8%
$20-30 8% 9% 9% 7%
$30-60 7% 5% 9% 6%
More than $60 7% 3% 5% 9%

Source: www.canstarblue.com.au TV viewing habits survey March 2015.

Survey respondents who are willing to pay for content are most interested in sitcoms (53%) and movies (73%), but almost half (47%) said they were prepared to pay for sport and a third (31%) were interested in news and current affairs programs.

Australia has long trailed other parts of the world when it comes to online streaming services, but with the recent introduction of Presto and Stan, plus the arrival of Netflix, consumers are now spoilt for choice. Healthy competition is great news for consumers – we’re already seeing something of a price war between the big providers, including Foxtel, and that looks set to continue throughout 2015 as they compete to offer the best service – and fight over market share.

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