Rewind back to a time not so long ago, where the television was typically the center of “family time”. Parents and children would gather around excitedly waiting for their show to begin. If the show was on free-to-air, you would be conscious of the starting time, because if you missed it there was no replay button and you would be relying on your friends to catch you up the following day. Hired movies were physical copies borrowed from the local video store, available only until the rental time expired.
Today, however, it is a somewhat different story. Streaming services now provide us with real-time response to our viewing demands, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. Portable devices have enabled us to access content 24 hours a day 7 days a week and have dramatically changed the family dynamic.
How have streaming services affected our lives?
Online streaming has gained solid traction in the past decade. Many people can lay in bed with their tablet or phone, sit at the bus stop or in a cafe with a device in hand ready to catch up on their favourite tv show. An average of 6.6 devices with screens are now present in households, making streaming more accessible than ever. This includes TVs, tablets, computers and phones. Predominantly, streaming has meant a disconnect for family viewing time. Unless agreed time is allocated to watch something on the one screen as a collective, 58% percent of us are watching content on our own.
What age groups watch tv?
Nielsen studies show SVOD adopters have changed their viewing habits. 52 per cent say they watch less free to air while 46 per cent say they are less likely to download movies or TV shows. They now tend to rent these though TVOD (TV On Demand) platforms such as Google Play or iTunes.
Broadcast content is now viewed mainly by those aged 60 and over. This is a representation of 96 per cent of people surveyed. SVOD is taken up by those between the ages of 18-34, which represents 81 per cent of those surveyed.
Catch up tv statistics indicate this is used predominantly by 45-59-year-olds. This represents 88 per cent of those surveyed.
VOD (Video On Demand) adopters view 80 percent of content at home over a week. 27 per cent report watching VOD on portable devices in various locations at least once a month.
One of the most telling statistics is that 58 percent of viewers are watching content alone.
Do streaming services have an effect on piracy?
The short answer is yes. One of the key findings of the online on-demand report is the rate of unofficial streams or downloads is declining. This means piracy is decreasing, which is good news for our local screen industry. Viewer convenience and affordability is driving us to join SVOD. It offers maximum flexibility for the user around viewing time, content, portability and of course less ad interruption.
So what is television streaming and how does it work?
The term refers to a stream of data originating from a server. Streaming requires three things, a decoder, the information and a server. It is traveling video and audio information that begins from the server. It then feeds out information that is put through the decoder to allow the viewer to watch either live TV or prerecorded original content.
What are the popular streaming services available?
Research shows that Netflix currently has 9.8 million users in Australia, which means that 48 per cent of Australians using a streaming service are watching Netflix.
Here are the most popular streaming services available in Australia:
- Foxtel Now
- YouTube Red
TCL’s 2019 range includes your favourite apps such as Netflix, Stan, Youtube and Kayo.
But the options don’t stop there. The list of available streaming services is ever growing and doesn’t look likely to stop, with on-demand and live TV streaming catering to specific markets.
Sports streaming is a good example of this, where most sports now have their own streaming service as well as live streaming. Kayo, for example, is a newer emerging app which caters for both on-demand and live TV streaming. As a multi-code app, you get access to over 50 sports including the more popular codes Australian Test cricket, AFL Premiership season, and NRL Premiership. Essentially we now have everything available at our fingertips.
Free catch up services
Free catch up services are provided by the individual television stations and give you the ability to watch shows that have recently run on their channels. Some examples are ABC iView, Freeview Plus, 7Plus, 9Now, 10Play and SBS on Demand.