Per capita Australians are buying and renting more film and TV content online than any other country except the US, according to a new study.
The fast growing digital market is split almost evenly between purchases (electronic sell -through) and rental (Video-on-Demand), unlike most other territories where VoD dominates.
Digital film and TV consumer revenues reached $143.6 million, excluding GST, in 2013, according to the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA), which covers more than 90% of the market. That’s a 22.4% gain on 2012, which was up 36% on the prior year when those stats were first compiled.
EST accounted for $71.2 million while VoD posted $72.5 million from 23.8 million units. The market for EST and VoD movies rose by 26% while TV EST grew by 13%.
The stats for the sale and rental of physical DVDs and Blu-rays for 2013 have not been released yet but are sure to show a decline on the prior year. The packaged goods and digital home entertainment industry was worth $1.174 billion in 2012.
The spurt in online revenues is not fully offsetting the attrition in the traditional video business, although the profit margins are significantly higher for digital.
“The 2013 digital movie and TV sales data show the tremendous growth and consumer interest Australians have in consuming filmed content digitally,” AHEDA CEO Simon Bush said.
“In fact, on per capita basis, Australia is second only to the United States in digital consumer revenues. New digital offerings such as UltraViolet and continued content availability on leading online platforms will only continue to drive legitimate consumer sales.
“With 50% of all sales coming from electronic sell through (EST) films this makes Australia a stand out in the global market place where VoD tends to dominate; and of course EST margins exceed those of VoD.
“However, despite the strong digital sales, the physical business continues to decline and as an industry we are losing hundreds of millions in lost sales from internet piracy and we look forward to the Abbott Government following through with legislative reforms in 2014 to assist the creative content industries.”
AHEDA does not collate revenues from Subscription VoD services and is working to include that sector, particularly with the launch this week of Foxtel’s Presto.