The online tv viewing tsunami

We thought you’d be interested to hear a bit about the latest results from our long running IPTV in Australia study, in which we track the TV viewing habits of the nation, in particular, looking at online TV viewing.

There’s not really any doubt about whether people are still watching TV; they definitely are. It’s just that the way they are now watching it is dramatically different to the way they have watched it in the past. Watching TV online has become a staple for many, with 36% of the population saying they watch TV content online “all the time” – up from 17% in January 2014. This is even more common among younger people, with 63% of 18-29 year olds watching TV online “all the time”.

But what is also becoming increasingly apparent is that it’s not just younger people jumping on the online TV bandwagon. 1 in 5 people aged 50+ are now watching TV content online all the time (up from 11% in January 2014).

A similar story plays out when we look at the mix of traditional TV viewing versus online TV viewing. Those who only or mainly watch TV on a TV decreased to 60% in January 2017, down from 78% in January 2014. The decline is more dramatic among younger people, where only 23% now only or mainly watch TV content on TV (down from 57% in January 2014).

So where are the viewers going?

Netflix is clearly taking a lot of eyeballs. 31% of respondents have watched Netflix in the past month*, up from 19% 12 months ago. Once again this is being driven largely by younger people, with 65% of 18-29 year olds watching Netflix in the past month* (*as of January 2017).

What is even more interesting here is that when people sign up to Netflix, their viewing of traditional TV declines significantly. As of January 2017 only 25% of Netflix subscribers only or mainly watch TV/video content on TV (down from 33% in January 2016). Netflix is taking the place of the traditional TV channels for its subscribers.
Meanwhile the free to air catch up services (ABC iview, Plus7, 9Now and Tenplay) have all failed to grow significantly over the past year. Only SBS On Demand has increased its viewers over the past 12 months.

So are you increasingly heading online to watch TV rather than using the traditional channels? Do you watch Netflix? Comment below to let us know! Reply

    Last reply: 17th Jun 2019 / 8 replies / Post by Cafestudy Manager

Member comments


Posted by: frannymanny
Posted: 13th Jul 2017

frannymanny says: I only watch on line to catch up on a show I missed Reply


Posted by: helen30692411
Posted: 4th Aug 2017

helen30692411 says: I never watch TV on line either. One has to have either a smart TV, which a lot of us don't have, or a good internet with GB's of data....all cost money...The young girl that watches the same movie in school, at the us stop etc. must have a good mobile data service!!! Reply


Posted by: Hawkey10
Posted: 12th Aug 2017

Hawkey10 says: I watch free to air at times, but there are far too many ads and the quality of shows on at the moment is terrible.

I'm a fan of Netflix Reply


Posted by: tyson
Posted: 6th Jan 2018

tyson says: I watch Netflix, Stan, plus SBS on demand. Fuller content with out paying heaps, as you can with Foxtel. Reply


Posted by: Kria
Posted: 8th Jul 2018

Kria says: TV channels don't really offer anything that interests me any more, I don't think I've actually watched them regularly since 2010. Getting to pick when you watch something is seriously so much better than having to work a schedule around set program times. Netflix is the main one for me, but I'll occasionally get a subscription or trial for other paid ones, watch what I want, and either keep or ditch them depending on what they offer. SBS on Demand is the only way I can get to watch The Handmaid's Tale since Hulu isn't available to Australia, so I use SBS specifically for that show.

For other things I want to watch that aren't on those, there's Itunes, the Google Store, and now even YouTube is offering movies. The idea of going back to traditional TV channels is just... Boring. Reply


Posted by: Trishii
Posted: 22nd Jul 2018

Trishii says: I watch traditional tv the vast majority of the time, however when we put the kids to bed at night we will sit down to watch a Netflix series. Reply


Posted by: chickenman
Posted: 11th Jan 2019

chickenman says: any station/company that can provide ad free programs (even for a price ) will get great customers.
pay tv was once (pay to view without ads ) but now has more ads than "free to air" , so foxtel is now close to defunct.


Posted by: super88
Posted: 17th Jun 2019

super88 says: Free to air and catch up are the only things I watch. Reply

Active chats

Create a new topic to discuss