Australians streaming more catch-up TV than ever before: ACMA

Australians are streaming more traditional TV content online than ever before, according to new statistics.

The latest Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) figures reveal that in June this year, almost 1.1 million people used catch-up TV services online in Australia – compared to 568,000 during the same time last year. This significant increase, due to ISPs offering higher-speed services and more data allowances, is set to expand if the government's National Broadband Network gets fully-implemented. No details were released on data volumes associated with the catch-up TV service.

ABC's Georgina Waite said at last month's SPAA Conference that the iView platform was growing rapidly, indicating that Chris Lilley's latest comedy Angry Boys had 1.4 million plays on iView, while the official website had 1.6 million. Also last month, Multi Channel Network's chief executive Anthony Fitzgerald announced at a press briefing that Foxtel and Austar would next year launch a free catch-up TV service allowing subscribers to access content on multiple screens in the home and across mobile devices.

Streaming TV shows – on top of accessing social networking sites at home – contributed to a 76 per cent increase (June 2010-11) in the amount of data being downloaded across the nation.

The stats, shown in ACMA's statutory Communications Report 2010-2011 which was tabled in Parliament on Monday by communications minister Stephen Conroy, found that in June 2011, 8.6 million Australians accessed social networking sites at home, compared to 8 million a year before. Utilising social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is a key strategy in moving forward for local producers in attempting to engage more with viewers, gaining a feel for what they like, want and expect. In the 30 days, locals spent an estimated 36 million hours (up by 2 million on 2010) in total accessing just Facebook from home.

Also, almost 4 million people aged 14 years and over used the Internet on their mobile phones during June. This is an increase of 63 per cent from last year.

Producing multi-platform content, such as mobile games, is becoming increasingly popular with content creators but they say there’s still a long way to go. Foxtel’s latest multiplatform series SLiDE was a massive success across all platforms and Conspiracy 365, which starts screening next month on the Family Movie Channel, will push the boundaries of engagement. Twelve episodes will air (one per month) and new content will be provided across mobile and broadband platforms every single day – 365 days of the year – by Queensland company Hoodlum. Watch the extended trailer to the series here. For more on multiplatform storytelling, check out the December/January issue of IF Magazine.

To read the full Communications Report, click here.

Source: ACMA Communications Report 2010-11