If you build it, they will come

The SMH today highlighted some findings released by Ericsson from their TV & Video 2011 Consumer Trends report (released in Sept 2011) regarding ABC’s iView catch-up service.

The report found that, of the more than 1000 Australians surveyed, 32 per cent of those who watched streamed or downloaded content did so via iView. Illegal file-sharing was slightly more popular with 33 per cent of downloaders admitting to its use. 22 percent of downloaders cited downloading pay-per-episode service iTunes.

It would also be interesting to find out more in terms of volume of content consumed as I assume that those downloading illegal fare are consuming more per person than those consuming iView content. I’d also be interested in the data regarding just how many people illegally download content that has previously been made available on iView and why they’re opting for p2p over the legal platform.

Now, it would be simplistic to say that if you put a show up on iView people will not download that program illegally. People download for all sorts of reasons (convenience, quality of file, availability, and pre-established habits are among many reasons). But, there is an obvious demand for streamed content like this, a demand that is building.

In Australia we’ve seen very little in the way of large-scale streaming video platforms so far. iView is by far the most significant, but there is also the subscription-based Quickflix service. While the market place is a lot more competitive in the US, it is interesting to see what is taking place in the UK with the recent explosion in online streaming services there and the way that traditional platforms are adapting to the new marketplace.

Facing competition from the recently-launched Netflix, the Amazon-owned LoveFilm, and the soon-to-launch FTA service (backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva) YouView, BSkyB are launching a new service to cater toward this emerging market. Subscribers will be able to pay as they go or sign a monthly subscription without contracts to access the service delivered via connected TV devices, smartphones, and PC’s. The service, which is yet to be named, has been announced following recent reports of a slowdown in the number of people signing up to their television services (40,000 over the last quarter, down from 140,000 the year prior).

At the ASTRA conference in 2011, former Foxtel chief Kim Williams signalled changes that point to an evolution of the Foxtel offering. One would expect to see a model not far removed from the proposed new Sky service in the UK. It’s almost a certainty that competition will become just as fierce in Australia as it has become in the UK. Will local providers be able to make a dent in the high volume of downloading? Based on the high takeup of iView, it looks promising.

 

Content Director at Televised Revolution

Dan Barrett is the Content Director of Televised Revolution. His musings on television have been heard across ABC Radio, on websites like The Guardian and Crikey, and drunkenly in pubs across the country. At night he spends too many hours watching repeats of Cheers.

4 thoughts on “If you build it, they will come

  1. Rach says:

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for the post! I totally agree that there are many reasons why people download, not simply due to the lack of it being accessible by streaming services. There are all kinds of demands around content accessibility.

    I’m trying to find the original of this Ericcson report. However, the only Ericcson report of the sI can find is a global study which doesn’t mention localised distributors at all (ie. ABC’s iView). Can you point me in the direction of this study?

    It does, however, sound surprisingly similar to the ACMA Digital Australians study, which has very similar stats which does mention localised distributors and was released a month later.

    For reference, the ACMA study is here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:lp_eIDC4sGYJ:www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib410130/digital_australians-complete.pdf+acma+digital+australian+study&hl=en&gl=au&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjFzr64iQpBZ1v9MlSA3zjA-fcGs2nEP0E4YgplaTs91Doxeg0X6rdMOAYgukK4mugbkgtuN2nUMwuhPtHGvDS9v9eY9HdYFxtqrQBjyJ52nweAIY5wFj3g4Rin4Z7wG35gdkVt&sig=AHIEtbSba_l7gBjeKGUA4BTkKZQ1d2rRTA

    Any ideas?

    Cheers
    Rach.

  2. Rach says:

    Hey Dan,
    Actually, I found the original Ericcson report here: http://www.slideshare.net/ceobroadband/ericsson-tv-and-video-2011-consumer-trends

    No mention of localised stats. The closest thing to localised Australian stats that I’ve seen is the Digital Australians study from Oct 2011, where it mentions that 31% of respondents watch “Catch Up TV services like iView”. This is then broken down further showing which services people watch, with Ten, Seven and ABC each having been watched by around 40% of people who watch “Catch Up TV services”.

    Looks a little like the Herald slapped two reports together. Awkward!

  3. Dan Barrett says:

    After I posted the article, Ericcson got in contact with me and pointed me in the direction of the Australian data for the report. The worldwide report was issued last year, while they only finished collating data for the Australian market recently.

    http://www.ericsson.com/au/news/120221_consumerlab_254740123_c

    There’s some interesting facts, but the holy grail for me (this week) would be to truly establish downloading habits and find out exactly what people are downloading, when, and for what they perceive to be the reason.

  4. Mutsumi says:

    I have to confess when I first got cable TV in January 2008 I arlley wanted to see their reality show. No one could keep up with Kim and Kourtney and that whole family.It was kind of sad to see how Bruce Jenner looked since I vividly remember him winning the Gold Medal in 1976 at the Olympics. Plus, I knew that Robert K, their dad died too young after a long illness.I just think they are kind of harmless. I stopped watching the series after that season, I guess I was not the target audience. Maybe we all make too big a deal out them. Full Disclosure, I have to get back to watching Swing which I recorded on DVD, I learned from that series which aired on the Playboy. Not a day goes by that it does not air on that channel

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