More than half of Australia’s adults are paying for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, led by Netflix with 5.3 million subscribers, according to new research.

The US streaming giant accounts for 42 per cent of total SVOD revenues, followed by Stan with 17 per cent and Foxtel Now at 15 per cent.

Stan has 1.4 million subs, with YouTube Premium at 1 million, Amazon Prime Video at 600,000 and Foxtel Now 500,000.

The study by AMPD Research, a subsidiary of Media Partners Asia, found 75 per cent of respondents want to see the platforms carry more locally produced programming.

Some 58 per cent said they would also like to see more content from the US and the UK. The under-45 demographic showed a stronger preference for more US content while those over 45 felt they were under-served with UK content.

Younger viewers tended to favour a wider selection of comedy while older viewers want to see more action and adventure.

Sports and kids’ content surprisingly didn’t feature in the top five genres viewers wanted to see more of. But AMPD Research predicts both will be key SVOD battlegrounds as pressure rises on conventional pay-TV packaging and pricing.

“Our latest survey confirms that Australian consumers have embraced subscription streaming services at a pace that is unmatched in any other major developed economy we have examined,” said Anthony Dobson, managing director of AMPD Research.

“We are seeing impressive adoption rates across demographics, with 52 per cent of the under 45s paying for video streaming services while take-up among those over 45 is around 48 per cent. That underscores how paying for streaming video is becoming mainstream behaviour in Australia.

“Competition for spend and viewing time is only likely to increase, driven by rising investment in original content as well as access to local and international sports.

“At the same time, Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+ will likely arrive in Australia sooner rather than later as part of its global roll-out, undoubtedly becoming a key player in the Australian market.”

The average household pays $35.30 per month for 1.9 streaming services, with the average viewer watching almost 10 hours per week of TV series and movies.

Around 50 per cent of pay-TV households also subscribe to an SVOD service, the survey of 2,100 Australians aged 15-plus, conducted from April 6-15, found.

Foxtel Now registered the highest average spend among its paying base, thanks to its $29 per month add-on sports pack.

Among the surveyed services, Foxtel’s Kayo Sports had the highest average viewing time, boosted by its coverage of IPL cricket, as well as the highest proportion of viewers on a free trial.

The study also examined customer satisfaction for subscription streaming services, using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) method which reflects subscriber willingness to recommend services to others.

The sector as a whole has a positive NPS of 15, lifted substantially by Netflix. Dedicated sports services fared less well with a lower but still positive NPS of 2.

Netflix remains the service to beat with an NPS of 41 while also accounting for the highest average viewing time for a non-sports service.

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