Foxtel left behind as Australians move to subscription video, says Roy Morgan Research

Netflix and Stan have seen their viewer base surge last quarter while Foxtel’s audience reach has slightly dropped, claims Roy Morgan research.

According to the research company, the number of Australians living in a household with a Netflix subscription stands at 9.8 million, up nearly 30% on a year ago, while Stan has surged 39.2% to pass the 2 million mark. Foxtel though saw a 2.7% drop to 5.4 million.

Australian users of Pay TV/Subscription TV services – June 2018 Qtr. cf. June 2017 Qtr.
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April – June 2017, n=13,200 Australians aged 14+ and April – June 2018, n=13,221 Australians aged 14+.

Overall, Roy Morgan found 13 million Australians have access to some form of Pay TV or subscription TV, up 11.7% on a year ago, with Fetch being the fastest growing local service after a 40.5% jump to 710,000 over the last year.

Large increases were also seen for the rebranded YouTube Premium now with over 1 million users, up 38.5% on a year ago and Amazon Prime Video, up 87.7% to 273,000 users.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says subscription video on demand is both a challenge and an opportunity for Australia’s incumbent media organisations, saying: “Leading streaming video provider Netflix is fast closing in on 10 million users spread across nearly 3.9 million households. 9.8 million Australians aged 14+ used Netflix in the June 2018 quarter which gives Netflix a market penetration of 48% among Australians aged 14+.

“However, although Netflix clearly is well ahead of its rivals, other SVODs are also growing strongly – and generally at a faster rate than even Netflix.

“Stan, the joint venture between new merger partners the Nine Entertainment Company and Fairfax, grew its user base by nearly 40% over the last year to top 2 million users in the June 2018 quarter.”

Stan will be fully owned by the Nine Entertainment Company should their merger with Fairfax be successful.

“The proposed merger between Nine and Fairfax consolidates ownership of Stan and opens up multiple opportunities for cross-promotion of the new company’s various media brands such as the Nine Network channels Nine, Gem and Go!, and leading Fairfax mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review,” continued Levine.

“In a changing media landscape, highlighted by the recent merger agreement between Nine and Fairfax, the impressive performance of SVOD in recent years shows there are avenues to growth for incumbent media businesses challenged by new entrants into the market.”

Foxtel disputed Roy Morgan’s analysis, and a company spokesperson told Mumbrella: “It is difficult to understand why Roy Morgan would use survey techniques to determine Foxtel’s subscriber numbers, when the true and reported numbers are publicly available and sit at 2.8 million, well above their estimate.

“This, combined with OzTam’s most recent Establishment Survey, puts the number of Australian’s living in a household with a Foxtel subscription at more than 7.7 million individuals.

“As Netflix do not release subscriber numbers, the survey provides a rough estimate on their behalf; however, Foxtel would strongly urge that Roy Morgan’s research use openly reported data where it is available in order to give an accurate and reliable summary.”


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