Australian content scarce in competitive on-demand streaming market

Australian content scarce in competitive on-demand streaming market

A new report has revealed Australian content makes up a small but stable proportion of the catalogues of the major subscription video streaming services in Australia.

The report investigated the availability of Australian content across the three major subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services in Australia, Stan, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Findings revealed local content varied from service to service, but that overall Australian titles made up only a modest selection of each catalogue with Stan offering the most at 9% and Netflix the least at 1.7%.

Lead author, RMIT Senior Research Fellow Ramon Lobato, said the report showed that local content levels are low but stabilising across the board.

“We’ve been measuring local content levels in subscription streaming services for the last three years to understand how the market is evolving,” said Lobato.

“Local content levels on Netflix and Stan now appear to be stabilising at around 1.7% for Netflix and 9% for Stan – although Netflix has a larger catalogue.”

He said Amazon Prime Video is also a surprising home for Australian content, although most of its local titles are documentaries, and that the number of Australian originals is also rising across all three services.

Unlike Australian free-to-air networks, which are required by law to broadcast 55% local content between six am and midnight on their primary channels, SVOD services remain outside the scope of local content regulation. 

30 October 2019

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“It is important for our ongoing policy debate about the future of Australian screen industries to understand what the SVOD market is providing,” said Lobato.

“Take-up of SVOD services, especially Netflix, has been very high in Australia. The policy challenge will be to figure out what we should expect of these services in terms of local content.”

The report looked at a number of factors including the overall size of each catalogue, and the age, format and genre of available Australian movies and TV shows in each catalogue.

It found that Netflix and Stan have the newest Australian content, while Amazon’s Australian titles are significantly older.

Key findings:

  • All SVOD services in the study offer some local content, but the amount and nature of the content varies significantly
  • Stan has the highest proportion of local content: 9% of the titles in its catalogue are Australian
  • Netflix has the least local content: 1.7% of titles in its catalogue are Australian
  • Amazon Prime Video has a surprisingly large number of relatively older Australian titles, including many short documentaries
  • The number of original productions is growing across all services
  • Each service has a different search and category structure which affects discoverability of content

The report was co-authored by Lobato and Alexa Scarlata from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication and is available to the public here.

 

Story: Grace Taylor

30 October 2019

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