Netflix leads Australia in streaming with 1.9 million subscriptions as of May, followed by Stan and Presto with 332,000 and 142,000 subscriptions respectively, according to research from Roy Morgan. These three service providers account for 85% of all streaming subscriptions the country, but research from Telsyte’s suggests that Stan and Presto are now expanding faster than Netflix.
Slowing growth a concern for Netflix
Telsyte Managing Director Foad Fadaghi told Mashable that subscriber growth for the U.S. firm has slowed in the past 12 months. Netflix witnessed massive pent-up demand before its launch in Australia in March 2015, but Stan and Presto have been more aggressive in promoting their services, Fadaghi noted.
Slowing subscriber growth has been an issue for Netflix this year. In a letter to investors in April, the streaming giant noted that it has failed to match the explosive growth witnessed in 2015.
“Our international forecast for fewer net adds than prior year is due to a tough comparison against the Australia/New Zealand launch,” the company wrote. “While ANZ is growing steadily this Q2, it is less than the launch spike last year.”
Meanwhile, streaming numbers continue to rise in Australia. By the end of June, the number of active subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto is expected to cross 2.7 million, a rise of 46% from June 2015, according to Telsyte.
Australians prefer multiple streaming subscriptions
A bit of good news for the U.S. firm is that Australians prefer to have more than one streaming platform, with one in five Netflix users registering for more than one. In June 2015, the average number of subscriptions was 1.5, while in the last 12 months, it has grown to 1.7.
“It’s not a winner takes all marketplace,” Fadaghi said. The competition is primarily for content rights and not retail competition, the expert said, adding, “When you don’t have the same programming, it makes sense for consumers to subscribe to two or three.”
For Australians who are used to paying more for pay-TV, subscribing to multiple streaming subscriptions such as Stan, Presto and Netflix is still a good deal for viewers.
“You’re looking at A$30 to A$40 for Netflix, Stan and Presto [combined], and it’s still less than a decent entertainment package from Foxtel,” the expert added.
Streaming subscription numbers are expected to double by 2019, which comes as more bad news for Foxtel. By June 2019, streaming subscription numbers are forecast to hit 4.1 million, claim Telsyte. Currently, pay-TV subscriber numbers hover at around 3.3 million.