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Australia - Pay TV, Free-to-Air TV - Statistics and Analysis


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Although there has been steady growth in subscription TV services into 2015, in coming years customer viewing on the platform will have been greatly changed following the launch of services by OTT providers such as Presto, Stan and Netflix as well as SVoD options being marketed by FTA broadcasters.

Although FOXTEL has seen steady revenue growth during the last few years the company has struggled to increase pay TV penetration in Australia. The market into 2016 has also seen the launch of competing OTT platforms, including FOXTEL's own Presto TV services as well as Stan and Netflix. These offer competitively priced basic packages, commonly below A$10 per month, play to consumers' desire to view content at a time of their choosing. Although linear TV in early 2015 was still adopted by about 88% of Australian households, the figure is falling gradually, and the advent of OTT viewing as well as IPTV offers from Telstra and other major ISPs will see a more rapid shift from liner to time-shifted TV in coming years.

The FTA broadcasters as well as marketers and advertisers who need a return on investments are watching the available content options. The distribution advantage held by FOXTEL is slipping away as the NBN becomes built out over a greater number of premises, so expanding the reach of capable broadband infrastructure which enables subscribers to access OTT and IPTV content.

Following the end of analogue broadcasting, Australians have been able to access many more Free-to-Air TV channels as digital broadcasts. Although there are more channels available, the number of viewing hours has remained relatively stable for a number of years, and as a result individual channels, and particularly specific shows, have seen declining viewer numbers. Viewing habits have also been affected by the advent of catch-up TV services, which have been made available from the main broadcasters for two to three years. In addition, the launch of subscription video services from operators such as Presto, Stan and Netflix will further erode liner TV viewing as subscribers choose instead to watch programs at a time of their choosing.

These changing market conditions are impacting both the FTA and subscription TV industries. The FTA channels are counting on the use of Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) technology, which allows viewers to watch catch-up TV direct on the TV set using FreeviewPlus.

This report provides a range of statistics on Australia's pay TV market, including subscriber numbers, ARPU and penetration rates. It also provides forecasts for subscription TV uptake based on anticipated market trends over coming years.

Key developments:

Smart TV, pay TV, digital TV, subscription television, FTA TV, subscribers, penetration, additional subscription streams for subscribers, ARPU, revenue.

Companies covered in this report include:

AUSTAR, FOXTEL, Optus, TransACT, SelecTV, Telstra, TV Plus, FetchTV, Presto TV, Stan, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Seven West, Nine Entertainment, TEN, Free TV.


1. Synopsis
2. Pay TV Market
2.1 Subscriber statistics
2.2 Consumer penetration statistics
2.3 Usage Statistics
2.4 Revenue statistics
2.5 Advertising revenue
2.6 ARPU and churn Statistics
2.7 Infrastructure statistics and Availability
2.8 Major Players
2.8.1 Market overview
2.8.2 FOXTEL
2.9 Industry and market analysis
2.9.1 Market trends in 2016
2.9.2 Will movies be the new driving demand for STV
2.10 Can Foxtel revive the pay TV market?
2.10.1 Triple play arriving in the Australian pay TV market
2.10.2 International competition needs infrastructure
2.11 Forecasts Pay TV penetration to 2021
2.11.1 Scenario 1 lower pay TV subscriber growth
2.11.2 Scenario 2 higher pay TV subscriber growth
2.11.3 Forecasting notes
3. Free-to-Air Market
3.1 Trends and analysis
3.2 Impact of SVOD on traditional TV
3.3 Major FTA Providers
3.4 Usage Statistics
3.5 Advertising market statistics
4. Related reports
Table 1 Historic AUSTAR pay TV subscribers 2008 - 2011
Table 2 Pay TV subscribers, Foxtel, others and total 2008 - 2016
Table 3 Pay TV subscribers annual change by major operator 2008 - 2016
Table 4 Pay TV subscribers annual change by major operator (historic) 1997 - 2007
Table 5 Historic - Pay TV household penetration rates 1997 - 2004
Table 6 Pay TV household penetration rates 2005 - 2015
Table 7 Historic - Pay TV revenue by major operator 1997 - 2004
Table 8 Pay TV revenue by major operator 2005 - 2016
Table 9 Historic - Percentage change of pay TV revenue by major operator 1998 - 2004
Table 10 Percentage change of pay TV revenue by major operator 2005 - 2015
Table 11 Subscription TV advertising revenue and annual change 2000 - 2015
Table 12 ARPU levels per operator AUSTAR versus FOXTEL 2003 - 2016
Table 13 Pay TV industry annual churn rates 1996 - 2016
Table 14 Forecast pay TV household penetration lower growth scenario 2010; 2016; 2021
Table 15 Forecast pay TV household penetration higher growth scenario 2010; 2016; 2021
Table 16 Number of television and radio licences on issue 2011 - 2014
Table 17 Percentage shares of capital city TV advertising market 1998 - 2015
Table 18 Metropolitan advertising revenue for FTA commercial networks 2009 - 2015
Table 19 Regional and total advertising revenue for FTA commercial networks 2009 - 2015
Exhibit 1 Pay TV rollouts by state
Exhibit 2 Overview of new media activities from pay TV operators
Exhibit 3 A brief overview of AUSTAR United Communications (AUSTAR) (historic)
Exhibit 4 Listing of major commercial television licences by Network ID and affiliation

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