Record Ondemand Streams a “Momentous Shift in Viewing Behaviour”

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TVNZ are recording a huge increase in video content being streamed online while traditional broadcast viewing remains strong. This highlights the changing way in which viewers are consuming content; choosing to watch tv online, where and when it’s convenient.

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For years industry pundits have been saying that online video will transform the way we watch TV. We’re now seeing more New Zealanders than ever before choosing to watch longform content on a range of devices, be it desktop, tablet, smartphone or smart TV

The explosive growth in Kiwi viewers’ demand for video content saw a record three million video streams for TVNZ Ondemand in March, signalling a “momentous shift in viewing behaviour,” says TVNZ.

TVNZ Ondemand online video streams were up 34% for the first three months of 2013 compared to the same time last year.

Kevin Kenrick, TVNZ’s Chief Executive, says: “For years, industry pundits have been saying that online video will transform the way we watch TV. We’re now seeing more New Zealanders than ever before choosing to watch long form content on a range of devices, be it desktop, tablet, smartphone or smart TV. It’s a momentous shift in viewer behaviour.”

Time spent watching broadcast TV has remained strong as Ondemand’s popularity has surged – indicating they co-exist as complementary, rather than competitive, viewing options.

Says Kenrick: “While the vast majority of viewing is still live TV, technology has finally caught up with consumer demand for greater viewing choice and flexibility. The growth in Ondemand endorses our commitment to make the most compelling video content available to viewers wherever they want it,” he says.

TVNZ’s success is dependent on content, he says. “For decades, viewers have been hooked on the appeal of the video format – the combination of sight, sound and motion – and its availability has never been greater whether that’s broadcast on TV or streamed online. TVNZ is home to New Zealand’s favourite shows and this is the main draw card for our Ondemand viewers.”

The growth in video streaming has been further fuelled by new mobile devices, internet connected TVs and improved data network connectivity. TVNZ’s skyrocketing Ondemand viewing follows its 26 February launch on iPad and iPhone. The app, the first of its kind in New Zealand, was downloaded 147,500 times in its first month.

“We’re expanding our Ondemand presence at a time more New Zealanders own video-capable devices and have better network connectivity than ever before. Households are taking advantage of more generous data caps, removing the headache of how much Shortland Street you can stream before it hits your back pocket or interferes with your viewing experience,” says Kenrick.

“And with Ultra Fast Broadband being rolled out across the country and 4G networks being introduced by mobile operators, the smart money is on online viewing climbing even higher.”

In a sign of things to come, overseas markets are reporting the appearance of Zero TV households – where programming is only watched on non-TV devices such as computers, tablets or smartphones.

“Broadcasters have to adapt. TVNZ is trialling Ondemand-only content where we premiere selected shows ahead of TV broadcast. The Carrie Diaries, the fifth most popular Ondemand programme last month, is currently only available Ondemand; and the homegrown comedy series Auckland Daze premiered Ondemand before it had TV air time.”

Top 10 TVNZ Ondemand programmes in March

1.    Shortland Street
2.    My Kitchen Rules
3.    The Big Bang Theory
4.    Revenge
5.    The Carrie Diaries
6.    Once Upon A Time
7.    Coronation Street
8.    The Vampire Diaries
9.    Masterchef New Zealand
10.    2 Broke Girls

Total TVNZ Ondemand video streams for March 2013: 3,032,331.

Source: Nielsen/Omniture. Nielsen records desktop, PS3 app and Samsung TV app streams; Omniture records mobile “video play clicks” for iOS apps.

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Georgie Hills

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