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Television vs. Streaming - How Are Kiwis Watching?

Posted on 4-Jun-2015 11:04 | Filed under: News

As the subscription video on demand (SVOD) landscape heats up in New Zealand, new data by Nielsen shows the impact SVOD has had on viewing habits internationally. And global data provides insight to future of New Zealand television according to Quickflix.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, overall television viewing in the U.S. dropped 4.6 per cent year on year. The report cites that younger viewers are the quickest to sacrifice TV viewership – 18-24 year olds viewing fell 16 per cent and teens (12-17) fell 10 per cent. More than 13 per cent of homes also utilise more than one streaming service.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that NZ is about 2-3 years behind the US in terms of consumer behaviour as it relates to television and streaming, which means we can begin to paint a picture of what the future landscape will look like in NZ based on international trends,” said Paddy Buckley, Managing Director of Quickflix NZ. “What we’re seeing is a migration away from traditional viewing and an increase in time-shifted and, in particular, on demand viewing.”

So what does this mean for New Zealand?

The exact timing may be unknown but the growth trend is already taking shape: Quickflix, New Zealand’s original streaming service, has seen 250% customer growth for the two years to end April 2015.

“While the growth of on demand viewing is only really just getting started here, it will be accelerated by the roll-out of the ultra-fast broadband network, as well as increased competition in the video on demand sector, which is rapidly raising awareness,” said Buckley.

According to Quickflix data, smart TVs are Kiwis’ devices of choice, with more than 35 per cent choosing to watch on this platform – a 50 per cent increase from the same time last year, which reflects the developments in technology and the ease with which new TVs are now connected. Mobiles and tablets are next (24 per cent) and then game consoles (21 per cent). Laptops and computers bring up the rear with less than 15 per cent of people now using them to view.

But it is not just how we are watching that is changing. It is also what we are watching.

With the cooler weather upon us, we can expect Kiwis to bunker down for a movie on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Quickflix reports that drama and comedy films tickle our taste buds the most (19 per cent each), followed closely by action (17 per cent) and thrillers (15 per cent). Surprisingly, romance falls much further down the list which poses the question – is New Zealand not a romantic nation? An alternative view is that on demand services are able to offer less mainstream, more edgy content, which is proving popular with Kiwis. The kids category has remained steady and extremely popular, as Quickflix continues to cater for rugrats with a strong subscription catalogue boosted by brand new releases such as Paddington and Big Hero 6.

“We have prioritised the rapid development of our platform because we know that the big screen matters the most, no matter how your content is being delivered. We also know that ease of viewing is hugely important so we want to be flexible and offer Kiwis the ability to watch great on demand content on whatever devices they choose. Watching on multiple devices around the house will become the new norm,” said Buckley