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Australia TV fights for viewers

03 August 2015 by News Desk

ent_KevinSpacey01TV broadcasters in Australia are running to catch up as millions of viewers switch to streaming video services.

In the recent past top-rated Aussie TV shows could attract regular audiences of around two million. But new prime-time shows from major TV networks such as Seven and Nine have been a ratings disaster, attracting audiences of just 784,000 over three nights, the lowest audience being a little over 400,000.

Viewers are deserting traditional TV in favour of streaming video services. US-based Netflix – U2 singer Bono was an early investor in the company – launched in Australia in March with top-rated shows including House of Cards (Kevin Spacey, pictured), Orange is the New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Within three months Netflix had signed up over one million Australian customers, while Australian providers Presto and Stan signed up almost 200,000 customers to its streaming services. Today, almost one in 25 Australians subscribe to a video streaming service.

Now Australian telecoms company Telstra, in a bid to win back audiences, is to partner with a US manufacturer, Roku, to launch a new platform called Telstra TV. The new offering will deliver all streaming apps including Netflix, Stan and Presto, as well as catch-up TV services like ABC’s iView. For the first time in Australia, all major streaming services will be available on the same TV platform.

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