How Australians are consuming today’s Media and Entertainment

Deloitte’s Media Consumer Survey presents a snapshot of how Australians are consuming different media and entertainment. Now in its seventh edition, the report explores how consumption trends have changed over time and the emerging behaviours, preferences and trends impacting the Telco, Media and Entertainment industry. The report is well worth the read cover to cover.

Since the last report, the environment surrounding media and entertainment has been turbulent. Events such as the major social media services being brought in front of US Congress, consolidation of major global and Australian media players, aggressive purchasing and creation of content by the likes of Amazon and Netflix and the launch of voice-controlled devices in Australia mean that the survey’s findings are just as interesting as ever. This post pulls out the major findings from the report and highlights some of the implications for Telco, Media, Entertainment and Advertising organisations. The major categories in the report are Digital entertainment, Proliferation of content, New norms and behaviours and The value exchange.

What are we consuming?

SVOD on a roll (p.7) – Australian’s continue to increase their engagement in streaming video content with survey respondents saying they watch an average of 13.5hrs of streamed content per week. 43% purchase an SVOD subscription for their household (up from 32% in 2017) with the split of subscriptions going to the three major SVOD players in Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now (89%, 26%, and 23% of survey respondents with an SVOD service respectively), while YouTube Red (11%) and Amazon Prime (8%) had lower subscriber numbers among survey respondents.

Stable cable (p.8) – With the increase in SVOD, an expected implication may be a reduction in cable subscriptions (this was forecast in last years report too with 20% of respondents saying they are likely to cancel a subscription in the coming year). However, 31% of respondents indicated they still have a cable subscription (the same as 2017) and pay TV remains the most valued media content subscription for all age groups (except Trailing Millennials) beating SVOD, streaming music services, gaming, newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The number looking to cancel their cable subscription is down to 16% this year.

Sports attraction! (p.9) – Sport is the number one reason cited for continued pay TV subscription (22%) ahead of other major motives, such as value for money and bundling with home internet access (both 16%). Sports apps (think NBA League Pass or AFL Live) are also on the rise. As an example, 10% of all male respondents indicated they hold an AFL Live subscription, 6% hold an NRL Live Pass and 11% hold an Optus Sport pass. With the bundling of sports apps and telco data plans, the pay TV association with sport is likely to be increasingly challenged in the coming years.

Rethinking social (p.11) – There was a decrease of 15% in the number of respondents who feel time spent interacting with friends on social media is just as valuable as time spent together in-person (55% to 40%). Daily usage of social media platforms continues to decrease, down to 55% from 59% last year and nearly back on par with 2014 levels (54%).These trends however are in the context of social’s popularity – 85% of respondents and 95% of Millennials are active on some form of social media. Facebook continues to reign supreme and is the platform on which every age group spends the most time each week.

How are we consuming it?

So much multitasking (p.16) –  This year and last year, 91% of respondents multi-tasked while watching TV, up from 79% in 2014 when we first started reporting. This is even more pronounced for Millennials, 96% of whom multi-task. Most of this is done on our smartphones. Fifty-eight percent use smartphones while watching TV, ahead of laptops and tablets at 29% and 28% respectively. The ability to engage people while a live event or TV Show is occuring through their device is now more pronounced than ever and provides opportunities for advertising attribution.

How to find great content when there is so much to choose from? (p.14) – Australian media consumers certainly value volume. Eighty-four percent of respondents value extensive libraries of TV shows and 83% value extensive libraries of movies. But as the number of SVOD services and OTT apps in Australia grows, and content becomes more fragmented across them, discovery is set to become more important than ever.  Nearly a quarter of SVOD users neither value (21%) nor are confident (23%) in the personalised content recommendations provided to them, indicating that recommendations are not useful or, more likely, we don’t always perceive the algorithm results as accurate. This represents opportunities for niche recommendation services or greater personalisation of algorithms that are used to recommend content. We are likely to see this from aggregators such as Apple, Amazon and Google that are launching services like Google TV that aim to make available lots of content in one service.

Whats new in our media and entertainment consumption habits?

The rise of Telcotainment (p.20) – Telcos may be enjoying the insatiable appetite for data, but they are also investing to provide more bandwidth while OTT apps and services benefit from increased usage and revenue. This sets up OTT entertainment apps as the perfect mate for telco offerings and is central to the rise of telco-tainment. 21% of video and music streaming service subscribers receive their subscription through a Telco plan. This is even higher in total Millennial subscribers (27%). Seventy percent of total respondents with entertainment bundles indicated the included subscription was a factor in purchasing their mobile or internet plan, while 79% of total respondents said it made them more likely to stay with their provider. Keep an eye on this trend as it is likely to have downsides for payTV providers or SVOD providers not tied into the Telco ecosystem.

Esports is popular (for millennial males mostly) (p.22) – Fourteen percent of total respondents have attended in-person or streamed an esports event, for example League of Legends, in the last 12 months. This is largely driven by Millennials (26%) with the biggest enthusiasts being Millennial males, of whom 33% have attended or streamed an event, making esports a fastgrowing channel for advertisers looking to reach this demographic. Esports audiences tend to be mainly concentrated on a small number of digital platforms, with a mix of live and on-demand viewing. The most popular digital platform is YouTube (58%) followed by TV broadcasts (35%), Twitch (28%) and the websites of individual game developers (22%).

Voice assistants are gaining popularity and control over the user interface (p.23) – Google Home launched in July 2017, Apple HomePod in January 2018 and Amazon Alexa in February 2018 and survey respondents are living up to Australia’s reputation as rapid adopters of consumer tech with 9% already indicating they own at least one of these devices. This compares to 15% in the US which has had commercially available voice assistants for over 3 years.  55% of owners using their devices each day (59% for Millennials) and 86% of owners using their device at least once per week (90% for millennials). Searching or requesting information (26%) is the most valued use of voice-enabled home digital assistants. We are not yet using them for shopping purposes but it is clear that there are implications for brands wanting to reach particular consumers with their product message where the voice interface may dis intermediate that direct connection (compared to digital search and commerce).

Who do you trust with your data? (p.29) – Media businesses rely heavily on data to drive personalisation and content discovery.  Survey respondents almost unanimously (93%) believe they should have the right to ask a company to permanently delete their data. And 76% stated they would request permanent deletion even if it resulted in a negative impact to their service. Businesses will need to understand what might entice an individual to happily hand over their data – and to whom. Telcos and media companies are fortunately the most trusted companies with 52% of respondents indicating they were among the companies most trusted with their data, second only to financial services providers and banks (70%). Streaming services and social media fare less well, trusted by 20% and 15% respectively, and given the importance of data to these businesses, addressing consumer unease will be critical.

Deloitte’s media consumer survey continues to shine a light on the changing behaviours of Australian’s as we navigate an world of increasign convergence between Telco, Media and Entertainment providers with ubiquitous content, unlimited distractions, data and privacy concerns and increasingly new things to and ways to consume. The report this year was written by Leora Nevezie, Jess Eade and Nicola Alcorn – Hope you enjoy consuming it!

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