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. Thatís a 22.4% gain on 2012, which was up 36% on the prior year when those stats were first compiled.

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.