How broadcast TV became the third place viewing medium
Welcome to a midweek edition of Unmade.
Today, a first look at data from the government’s annual Media Content Consumption Survey. It offers new insights into the speed at which Australians are turning away from watching linear TV, and a gauge of the level of public concern around gambling advertising. Further down, we’ll also catch up on another positive day on The Unmade Index.
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Streaming overtakes the airwaves
In future years, the government’s Media Content Consumption Survey is going to be a useful diary of the end of analogue broadcasting.
Yesterday saw the release of the 2022 survey. It’s only the third year it’s been conducted, so there are no sexy bar charts to be drawn just yet.
There’s a lot in there. For anyone interested the changing consumption habits of the media, it’s worth spending your own time with the report.
For today, I’ll focus on just two areas - the changes in how people are watching television, and the public’s attitudes to advertising, and betting ads in particular.
The first thing to note is that it’s a survey that asks people about their habits. An inherent flaw with this methodology is that it relies on people remembering and answering correctly. However the representative sample is of just over 5,000, so it’s a decent number.
One of the most interesting tables suggests that broadcast television is now the third most popular way of watching TV.
Until 2020, commercial free to air TV (watched over the airwaves) was the single most common way to consume screen content, with 61% of people doing that every week.
By 2021, it had become the second means of viewing with the number falling to 58%. Digital subscription services such as Netflix and Stan moved past, up from 60% to 62%.
And in 2022, commercial free to air TV dropped to third, with weekly viewing falling to 53%. Digital subscription services rose to 66%. And the free video streaming services came past into second place, up from 56% to 58%.
It’s worth noting that the free-to-air broadcasters also have a dog in that free video streaming race, in the guise of 9Now, 7plus and 10play. However, also included in the bucket is viewing on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
Also noticeable is that for weekly viewing of the ABC and SBS (“publicly owned” in the table above) the traditional way has fallen well below half, at 41%. However, 29% are consuming ABC iView or SBS On Demand.
Another interesting chart captures the public penetration (but not the revenue) of the subscription streaming services.
Netflix is clearly dominant. However, it’s also the platform which has historically been most generous with its password policy. Of those 68% surveyed who say they have access to Netflix, a much smaller number will be the person paying the bill.
The same goes for Nine’s Stan. It may be reaching something like 27% of the population (maybe 7m people), but we know from Nine’s own disclosures the paying active subscriber base is less than 2.6m.
Note also how quickly Amazon Prime is rising.
There’s too much in the report to unpack in once piece of analysis here (audio will have to wait for another day).
There was one surprise that leapt out. I’d expected gambling ads to have a worse impact on public perceptions of TV advertising than they appear to. For the most part, the public appears to be indifferent about the appropriateness of advertising in general.
However, when the public does disagree with the ads, gambling is the biggest concern, cited by 82% of those who had a problem with betting ads on commercial TV.
The full report is a treasure trove for marketers and planners seeking to understand how they should be evolving their media mix. We’ll be digging more deeply on Unmade when we get a quiet news day.
Crossed fingers on rates creates hope on the Unmade Index
It was a second day of growth in a row for The Unmade Index on Tuesday, albeit much less of a jump than Monday. The index followed the lead of the wider ASX All Ordinaries which grasped at the slight hope that the rate rise cycle may be coming to an end.
Domain rose by 1.24%, which also lifted parent company Nine. Seven West Media rose by 1.18% and Ooh Media (which yesterday announced ex Yahoo boss Paul Sigaloff as chief revenue and growth officer) rose by 0.93%.
Audio companies HT&E and Southern Cross Austereo both fell.
Time to leave you to your Wednesday. We’ll be back tomorrow with an audio-led edition featuring the closing keynote Q&A session from last week’s RE:Made - Retail Media Unmade conference.
Have a great day.
Publisher - Unmade
Tim Hi there, Departments survey, even at a sample of 5,000 is dodgy at best. Better to use a 65,928 annual surver (48 weekends of the year), Morgan Research, which delivers findings of (all, past 7 day measure) FTATV 81.0%, SVOD 70.5%, BVOD 34.4%, PayTV 18.7%. But yes the viewing dynamics are changing fast and picking up pace
How depressing that ABC/SBS fta viewing has dropped below 50%. Not because I'm a luddite, but because it gives the Murdoch press and their political friends another piece of "fake news" in their fight for whatever cruel end they want to befall the public service channels.