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Australian audiences Catching On fast to Catch Up TV

Australian consumers are catching on to Catch Up TV in record numbers, with new findings revealing the take up of Smart TV’s and OTT devices like Apple TV and Chromecast, continue to revolutionise the way viewers watch content and changing the approach from advertisers to meet new and evolving consumer viewing habits.

Catch Up TV

The research, proprietary to The Media Precinct, shows Catch Up TV or broadcast video on demand is gaining in popularity and the audience is very engaged and attentive to advertising.

The key findings of the research from a poll of 2,000 people include:

  • Almost 80% of respondents knew what Catch Up TV was

  • Catch Up TV is widely consumed with friends and family, with 73% saying they watch with others

  • The TV on the wall remains the most popular device for viewing at 55%, compared to 24% for a laptop

  • 54% say because there are less advertisements on catch up, they are likely to watch them more closely

  • Being able to watch favourite shows when they want (43%) and watching at times suited to their daily routine (23%) were the key reason for choosing catch up

  • While catch up is popular, only 13% say they exclusively watch catch up, showing traditional TV remains popular.

The research showed the 7pm to 11pm slot remained a key period for catch up and video on demand services, with more than 40% of people nominating these times as their preferred opportunity to watch a favourite show, drama or sport. Netflix (30%), Foxtel GO (17.43%) and ABC iview (13%) were some of the most popular catch up apps.

“We are seeing much higher penetration from catch up, due in large part to the internet connected smart TVs and OTT devices that come pre-programmed with all the catch-up apps ready to go,” The Media Precinct’s Digital Planning Director, Sam Kerr, said. ‘Interesting, respondents nominated Netflix as a Catch Up TV app that they are using when it isn’t. There is a lot of speculation that Netflix will look to open up to an ad funded model 2020 and it could become a major disrupter in the video advertising space. We have already seen the impact of Facebook and Google in Australia, and the damage its done to local publishers here, and this is an example of how the level of disruption could be exacerbated with the likes of Netflix joining in chasing ad money.’

“The simplicity of the apps and ease of use has seen a real uptake in this type of technology and as a result the big screen in the house is changing but is still a clear favourite.

“Clever advertisers and content providers target this platform using unique content that captures audience attention.

“Millennials and the segments of Gen Z in particular are heavy users of catch up and broadcast video on demand services.

“Along with podcasts this is one of the fastest growing media channels.

“Media companies and advertisers need to think about how they can leverage catch up and tailor specific content and messages to a growing audience.”

The Media Precinct’s Head of Trading, Lee Davis, says the consistent growth of catch-up TV cannot be ignored and must be considered part of the marketing mix for advertisers as television advertising enters the digital age.

“Catch Up TV allows advertisers to deliver relevant ads to a highly engaged audience.

“Because catch-up TV viewers have chosen what to watch and when, they are highly engaged and more receptive to advertising in contrast to the cluttered ad environment of traditional TV.

“Catch Up TV is often consumed by more than one person when watching via connected/SMART TV in the evening, so there is a bigger opportunity to reach more people on the biggest screen in the house through catch up TV.

“Overlaying location and time-based targeting with interchangeable messaging can be extremely effective, ensuring advertisers are connecting with the right audience, at the right time, with the right message, greatly improving the cost efficiency of catch Up TV.

“In comparison to traditional TV, there is a much lower point of entry for advertisers on catch up TV who wish to align their brand with premium content such as Masterchef, The Project, Insight & The Handmaid’s Tale.

“The consistent YOY growth of Catch Up TV, combined with the technological advancements in location and audience-based targeting makes catch-up TV very hard to ignore in the marketing mix”

“Catch up TV isn't replacing traditional television opportunities just yet but when consumption patterns are changing this rapidly, it simply cannot be ignored.”

Catch Up television is a platform where users can watch TV programs from free to air networks and Foxtel via an internet connection, at a time and place that suits them best, through Connected /SMART TV's, desktop computers, laptops, mobile and tablet devices.

Catch Up TV Stan (credit GIZMO Gif)

The growth of video on demand and catch up services reflects consumer appetite for these services, with the poll finding 7 out of 10 people currently watch Catch Up TV and anticipate watching again in the future.

When asked what the most popular programmes viewed in Catch Up TV are, Lee Davis was quick to respond, “our research shows that popular dramas like the Handmaid's Tale along with news, sports and documentaries are all popular as are blockbuster reality shows like Masterchef, The Voice and The Block. However, the most consistently viewed property is Home & Away making it the most popular program amongst our respondents.”

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