Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Australians and New Zealanders Embrace Internet Video Revolution

This study , The Connected Consumer , from Cisco shows Australian and New Zealand broadband users are spending considerably more time using the Internet than watching television or movies. As well it reports we are downloading video in significant numbers.

It shows the switch from analogue to digital media is well on the way, especially here in New Zealand. It also brings into sharp focus the growing displacement of the TV in the corner with a multiplicity of devices.

This is more than interesting. It needs thinking about. You can guarantee people making commercial decisions between mainstream TV and online[including content and ad spend] have it propped up in front of their cornflakes.

However it should also be required reading for those currently making recommendations and decisions around how to regulate and invest in the New Zealand digital environment.

Digital Broadcasting: Review of Regulation
On that score 'tis worth noting, MCH [New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage] is advising a swathe of submissions are available on their web site , in response to their Digital Broadcasting: Review of Regulation, which encompasses broadcasting and new media, and includes their ideas on content regulation.

The site also has a list of submitters linked to their individual submissions, a summary analysis of submissions and shorter overview summary document, notes from the consultation workshops and Maori stakeholder hui held in March 2008.

One of them, the Library and Information Advisory Commission [LIAC] , believes both the research and the discussion paper is limited by their failure to address and integrate the government’s digital frameworks under the NZ Digital Strategy and the NZ Digital Content Strategy into the issues and analysis. They strongly encourage the review to address this shortcoming.

They also ask for a greater appreciation of the bigger picture around connectivity, including a future involving fibre to the home and the highly strategic wireless spectrum.

As well, they argue for a greater focus and anlaysis on New Zealand's current digital content, in particular the importance of greater public access to public broadcast content through multiple platforms, before deciding to proceed with regulatory reforms.
[Declaration of interest - I am a member of LIAC] Their full submission is here.

The Cisco Detail
Back on the Cisco story, there is a wealth of detail worth studying. Specifically, it shows Australian and New Zealand broadband users are spending considerably more time using the Internet than watching television or movies.

The survey was carried by out last year by Illuminas amongst more than 1,000 Australian and New Zealand broadband users. It follows similar studies by Illuminas in the United States and Europe since mid-2006.

Les Williamson, vice president of Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said: “The network is rapidly becoming the platform not only for businesses that want to increase efficiency and productivity, but also for consumers who are changing the way they interact with each other and a whole range of their favourite content"

Williamson is also pretty clear as to the impact of this kind of study - i.e if broadband consumers are using the Internet to access video information in ever-increasing numbers, then it is up to Australian and New Zealand media and service providers to adapt to that change.

Twenty Two hours a week on the Internet!
Thus a key finding of the survey is that Internet activity has outstripped TV watching. Taken from a sample 864 Australians and 219 New Zealanders in November 2007, it also reports that in a typical week, each person spends an average of 47 hours engaging in media-related activities.

Most of the time is spent on the Internet (22 hours) and watching TV (14 hours). This puts Australians and New Zealanders at the same level of media consumption as respondents in the United States (47 hours) and the United Kingdom and ahead of the four continental European markets surveyed (France, Germany, Italy and Spain)

It also found found that 59 per cent of Australia and New Zealand Internet users watched or downloaded media content from the Internet in the previous 30 days. Short video clips or music videos are the most often watched or downloaded (38 per cent), followed by news programming (25 per cent).

Consumers in New Zealand are significantly more likely to have downloaded or watched short video clips than those in Australia (47 per cent vs. 36 per cent, respectively).

Internet is mainstream - digital is ordinary
All in all a superb little reminder to one and all that digital is now ordinary - multiple devices are the coming wave of the future and the TV in the corner is no longer the big guy.

The full study/report is in PDF here


Anonymous said...

Alison Jenkins!

Leigh Blackall said...

HOWEVER! 67% of NZers are not connected to the Internet (33%no connection, 34% dialup (that's not connected either in my books) and 33% of 'broadband') and its likely a lot worse in rural and regional centres. (NZStats 2007).

I also found out recently that 44% of NZers earn less than $15000 per year (NZStats 2001)

When SkyTV finally stitches up the sports broadcasting rights, I'd say your average Kiwi, when faced with a choice between $40 a month for broadband, or $40 a month Sky.. I think we know what the choice will be.

Long may the class wars and inequality brew in NZ!

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