Friday, 26 July 2019 10:32

Australians increasingly embrace Catch-up TV: report


Australian consumers are catching on to Catch-Up TV in record numbers, with new research findings revealing the take up of smart TV’s and devices like Apple TV and Chromecast, are “revolutionising” the way viewers watch content.

The research by advertising media agency 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".

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 45% for mobile and desktop.
  • 54% say because there are less advertisements on Catch-Up TV, 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 TV.
  • While Catch-Up TV is popular, only 13% say they exclusively watch it, showing traditional TV remains popular.

The research also showed the 7pm to 11pm slot remained a key period for Catch-Up TV services, with more than 40% of people nominating these times as their preferred opportunity to watch a favourite show, drama or sport.

“We are seeing much higher penetration from Catch-Up TV, due in large part to the internet connected smart TVs and devices that come pre-programmed with all the Catch-Up TV apps ready to go,” The Media Precinct’s Digital Planning director Sam Kerr said.

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

“The networks are now looking at ways to evolve their Catch-Up TV offerings over and above the current on-demand programming model, to more of a Netflix style proposition, with incentives like exclusive programming and full season drops.

“Millennials and the segments of Gen Z are the big drivers of this uptake so; media companies and advertisers need to think about how they can leverage Catch-Up TV and tailor specific content and messages to this growing audience.”

According to The Media Precinct’s head of trading, Lee Davis, 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,” Davis says.

“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.”

Davis says “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 year-on-year 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,” Davis concluded.

The Media Precinct poll found 7 out of 10 people currently watch Catch-Up TV and anticipate watching again in the future.

Davis says the research showed that the most popular programs viewed in Catch-Up TV are popular dramas like the Handmaid's Tale along with news, sports and documentaries are all popular as well as blockbuster reality shows like Masterchef, The Voice and The Block.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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