Australia’s Communications and Media Authority, ACMA, isn’t just a paper-shuffling government department but a useful font of knowledge, information and regulation on all things communications and media.
Its latest report is entitled ‘Streaming services - get the full story’ and it is absolutely jam packed with great answers to questions such as ‘Who offers SVOD services in Australia?’, ‘What’s the difference between SD, HD and Ultra HD content?’, ‘ What are my rights when using SVOD services?’, ‘What is a parental lock and is it available on SVOD services?’ and plenty more.
ACMA notes that since early 2015, nearly two million Australians have now subscribed to SVOD services according to respected analysts Telsyte, which is a whopping number in such a short time.
However, lest you think that all these subscribers signals the pending death of pay television behemoth Foxtel in Australia, Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein said in an address yesterday to the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce that Netflix will never be able to compete with Foxtel in the content stakes, with plenty more detail here.
iTWire is also running a survey on the right hand side of every page on iTWire right now, asking ‘Do you plan to quit Foxtel and try Netflix instead?’, with the range of answers including ‘Yes I am quitting Foxtel and getting Netflix’, ‘No I plan to just keep my Foxtel’, ‘No I plan to keep Foxtel and get Netflix or another SVOD as well’, ‘I don't use Foxtel or Netflix but am thinking about getting a paid service’, ‘I already have both Foxtel and Netflix’, ‘I already have just Netflix’, ‘I currently have only free to air TV and plan to get Netflix’, ‘I have free to air TV and I'm not getting anything else’ and ‘I don't have a TV’.
However, putting Foxtel aside for one moment, ACMA’s guide is specifically all about the SVOD services in Australia, with ACMA explaining that ‘SVOD services give you access to a wide range of programs like TV shows, documentaries and movies over your existing internet connection (an ‘over-the-top’ or OTT service)’ and that you’re ‘charged a flat monthly fee, which is typically around $10 to $20.’
In addition, you have ‘have full control over when to start, pause, fast-forward, rewind and stop programs. Content is updated regularly and isn’t subject to a fixed programming schedule.’
ACMA only listed paid SVOD services including Quickflix, Presto, Stan and Netflix, rather than free services such as free-to-air CatchUP TV services or a service such as Viewlorium.com.
ACMA also notes that you can stream to a wide variety of devices including PCs, Macs, desktops and laptops, smartphones, tablets, games consoles, streaming media players, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and other compatible devices.
Explanations of different content quality, different streaming rates, how many megabytes or gigabytes watching an hour of content will chew up at different SD/HD/Ultra HD rates, pricing rates, privacy considerations and much more ensure this is an actually useful Government report you won’t fall asleep reading and will actually want to have a look at!
Here’s some pertinent screen shots, with the fresh new report available for you to read here.
Here are a couple of pertinent screenshots from the report: