The digitisation of services, entertainment and media has accelerated in 2015, undermining established business models and throwing up policy challenges in a process coined 'digital disruption'.

11 December 2015

Image  an event of people holding up their phones and capturing a concert.

 

We have kept a close eye on developments affecting our portfolio and presents the following reflections from 2015. We look at how two key communications trends have influenced a change in consumer behaviour.

Stream-for-free vs Pay-per-view—Periscope enters the market

Live video streaming apps were the big development in the mobile space in 2015. Meerkat and the Twitter-owned Periscope exploded onto the scene, giving users the ability to live stream from their mobile device to their Twitter and Facebook followers. There are clear corporate uses for this technology which has been embraced by business and government for stakeholder communications.

Like most digital technologies—it hasn't taken long to throw up policy challenges. The ability to live stream from anywhere at any time allows users to stream events that an audience would otherwise need to pay to see. The use of Periscope and Meerkat to potentially undermine commercial broadcasting agreements was perhaps no better exemplified than through the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view boxing match, in which the media dubbed Periscope the winner.

SVOD services make their STANd and Presto! A new way to get flix off the net

By the end of March 2015, a market that was relatively untapped in Australia suddenly blossomed with subscription video on demand (SVOD) providers Netflix, Stan, Presto and Quickflix all vying for audience attention.

Australians have embraced these new services with the Department's Bureau of Communications Research (BCR) finding that following the launch of Netflix, peering traffic through IX Australia jumped fifty per cent from four gigabytes per second to eight gigabytes per second. BCR modelling predicts that data consumption through fixed line networks in Australia will continue to accelerate. Recent research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority reported that while free-to-air and subscription television continues to dominate Australians' content viewing, this year 34 per cent of Australian adults also watched online television or online professionally-produced video content in a given week.