Eighty percent of Australian consumers watch an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service at least once a week, making the country one of the biggest users of such channels in the region. Only Singapore (91 per cent) and Indonesia (76 per cent) are Netflix and chilling more frequently.

Digital video advertising platform provider SpotX has released research into the Asia-Pacific OTT (over-the-top) market, revealing that Australia is one of the most mature markets in the region.

OTT services allow viewers to stream video content over the internet, from a multitude of devices including smart TVs, personal computers or smartphones.

The company’s OTT is for Everyone APAC research estimates that nearly 400 million people now use video streaming services across the Asia-Pacific region. SpotX was acquired by rival Magnite last month, which bought the company for US$1.17 billion in cash and stock. The seller was European media giant RTL Group.

The report examines OTT (over-the-top) video consumption trends and advertising receptivity in the APAC region, covering Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and Australia.

The authors of the report say they sought to better understand the trends driving OTT viewership in the Asia-Pacific region which has distinct characteristics versus Western markets.

“Australians have long embraced OTT and we have the most advanced OTT advertising market in APAC,” said SpotX ANZ Managing Director Ilda Jamison. “We have an established OTT market with the majority of the population subscribed to at least one service. New global and local services are launching all the time with fierce competition for consumer attention and discretionary spend. We anticipate the popularity of AVOD to rise and be the driver of OTT growth in Australia.”

She added: “We are entering the next phase of maturation in the industry, with exciting developments in OTT advertising just round the corner. Advancements in cross-screen measurement for example will build advertiser confidence and unlock greater spends on the platform.”

Among the key findings:

  • Over two thirds (69 percent) of video viewers in the region watch streaming video at least once a week, confirming that both the audience size and regularity of OTT viewing has matured and entered the mainstream. The top three markets for OTT viewing were Singapore (91 percent), Australia (81 percent), and Indonesia (76 percent).
  • A majority of OTT viewers watch more than two hours of content a day, often out-stripping traditional TV and video-sharing platforms. The leading markets for OTT consumption are the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia.
  • Of OTT viewers across the region, 66 percent spend the most time streaming video on their mobile devices, with developing countries taking the lead. However, smart TV viewership is growing quickly, especially in Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam, where at least one in five video viewers stream through a smart TV.
  • In Australia, the SpotX research found that OTT in Australia is the preferred destination for watching video, with 80 percent of video viewers regularly watching OTT (free or paid) compared to 69 percent watching TV (free or paid) and 59 percent watching video-sharing platforms.

Australian video viewers also spend more time streaming video than they do watching other platforms. The research noted that 73 percent of OTT viewers in Australia report watching two or more hours per weekday compared to 69% who watch TV and 65 percent who watch video-sharing platforms for the same length of time. These percentages increase during the weekend, with OTT viewers continuing to watch for longer periods of time.

“Australian advertisers have embraced OTT as a way to leverage a brand-safe and high-quality environment, focused on building brands rather than driving short term results. The ability to quantify the co-viewing impact across CTV helps rationalise the reach extension that OTT provides brands,” said Flaminia Sapori, Partnerships Manager at Matterkind. “In 2021 we can expect further growth within this channel, particularly with cookie deprecation, enhancing the focus on channels which have always been cookie-less, such as CTV.”

Sapori added: “The main opportunities for OTT lie within creative innovation and personalisation of messaging. Further enhancement of addressable targeting capabilities and cross-screen measurement solutions will boost advertisers’ confidence in this channel and provide further insights into consumer viewing behaviour.”

The research was undertaken by Singapore-based research firm Milieu Insights, which conducted a quantitative survey of 7,000 people across eleven markets. People were surveyed by an online panel, were 16 and older, and watched video content on any device.

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