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.

Its very interesting how catch up TV properties are viewed (or not viewed) in Australia.

If a program is to be aired on the ABC and a user feels that he/she will miss this program they will often state “I’ll watch in on iView “.

This is because the ABC invested early in the iView platform which enables users to watch almost anything shown on the ABC. Its a system available online, iphone, ipad, Android, Xbox, WD TV etc and it just works and works well.

In contrast the commercial channels have also finally offered catch up services but have done little to make it known that they exist.

If users are faced with the desire to watch two programs that happen to on at the same time on competing commercial networks they will often look at ways to watch one and record the other (for later viewing) either using a PVR or Foxtel IQ. In fact its already known that many opt for Foxtel because of the sports content but it would be interesting to ascertain how many opt for Foxtel for the IQ function, that is, the ability to record.

Many don’t consider the commercial catch up services because its just not widespread enough that they exist or that they offer the service without asking for anything in return, like subscription fees or membership.

 

Nine and Foxtel’s Netflix rivals are lining up to take on the US streaming giant if it officially comes to Australia next year.

Australians have always been treated as second-class citizens when it comes to online video. Local services such as Quickflix, EzyFlix, Bigpond Movies and Apple’s iTunes charge more than their US counterparts but offer less. It’s tempting to accuse them of price gouging but most of the blame lies with Hollywood, which screws Australians simply because it can get away with it.