According to research firm Roy Morgan, BVOD viewership grew significantly throughout the pandemic with an increase of around 2.1 million viewers (+39.5%) in 2020 compared to the December quarter 2019. An additional 130,000 viewers streamed BVOD services over the past 12 months.
All five leading services listed above have grown compared to pre-pandemic figures. While 7plus, 9Now and 10Play have all maintained growth, ABC iView and SBS On Demand grew strongly during 2020 but lost viewers during 2021.
ABC iView is the market leader with an average of 4.13 million viewers per month, with SBS On Demand in second place with 2.86 million viewers. Seven Network’s 7plus is the leader of the three traditional commercial broadcasters in Australia with 2.6 million users.
Commenting on the report, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “All five services experienced large growth in viewership during 2020 when the entire country was plunged into a nation-wide lockdown in the early stages of the pandemic. However, the across-the-board growth hasn’t been sustained in 2021, although the traditional commercial broadcasters have notched up a second straight year of growth.
“The trends seen for the free Video on Demand services offered by Australia’s ‘Free-to-Air’ broadcasters are similar to those seen for the leading Subscription TV services. The more well-established brands such as Netflix and Stan saw strong growth during the early stages of the pandemic during 2020 but were unable to continue this growth during 2021.”