Monday, 17 September 2018 10:57

Telcos get into entertainment business in changing media landscape: report

Telcos get into entertainment business in changing media landscape: report Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Telecommunications companies have been increasingly moving into the digital entertainment business, with 21% of video and music streaming subscribers now accessing services as part of a packaged Internet or mobile plan, accordng to a newly published report.

The move is detailed in the latest annual Media Consumer Survey by management firm Deloitte, which says that Australians are seeing the rise of so-called ‘telco-tainment’, esports and in-home voice technology, but with more entertainment options than ever, “consumers are looking for new ways to search for the best program and the best value”.

“The strategic importance of digital entertainment to telcos is now unmistakable. Seventy percent of respondents say that digital entertainment inclusions influenced their purchase decision, and 79% say it is a key reason for staying with their provider,” says Kimberly Chang, Deloitte TMT lead partner.

“We expect to see telcos increasingly entering content rights deals, particularly through sport, as they strive to create greater value from increased investments in bandwidth.

“The attraction of family or household accounts accessed across multiple devices is clear, although the survey showed that there is a bending of the rules with  high levels of ‘extended’ sharing as 26% of respondents (40% of Millennials) share log-in details outside the home at least once a month.”

Deloitte Sydney managing partner and Technology Media & Telco consulting partner Niki Alcorn says the media consumer survey underlines “the proliferation of media and entertainment content in our lives and the challenges emerging for both consumers and providers”.

“Australians stream an average of 13.5 hours of video each week and we are becoming increasingly prepared to pay for content with subscription video on demand growing across every age group. More than 40% of respondents to this year’s survey purchased SVOD subscriptions, up from 32% last year,” Alcorn says.

“But with the entertainment world now at our finger tips, people are finding it harder to decide what to watch, how and where.

“Nearly a quarter of respondents are uncomfortable with the algorithm-based program recommendations created to direct us through the ‘content jungle’ (raising concern about the impact of these on future programming decisions) and 75% would like to be able to search all content in the one place.

“Pay television remains the most valued media content subscription across all ages (stable at 31%), despite 20% of respondents having indicated in 2017 that they would cancel subscriptions in the next 12 months (16% in 2018).”

Leora Nevezie, Deloitte Digital partner and report author, says the survey also highlighted growth areas in "in-home voice technology" and esports.

“While in-home digital voice assistants are relatively new, Australia’s take up rate is rapid. Nearly 10% of respondents already have devices in their homes, with many having more than one (average 1.5), and 55% of these use digital voice assistants daily (59% of Millennials) and 86% weekly (90% of Millennials),” Nevezie said.

“The race is on for advertisers and brands to adapt to this technology and become the ‘default option’ on a new channel which generally provides a single conversational response to each question.

“Esports are also emerging as a perfect storm of opportunity in our entertainment market, combining video-gaming, social networking, live-streaming and e-commerce in one hugely popular package. Nearly 35% of male Millennials attended or streamed an average of 20 esport events last year and 47% are heavily influenced by advertising within the gaming environment.”

Here’s Deloitte’s snapshot of the survey:


  • Traditional news formats (TV news stations, variety/talk shows, radio, newspapers and magazines) remain the most favoured news source for respondents, despite some decline (51% from 55% last year).
  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions were held by 17% and 11% (both 16% last year).
  • There is an increase in the number turning to social media as their primary news source (17% up from 14% last year), with the figure highest among Millennials (28%).
  • Sixty-two percent (65% last year) of respondents remain concerned about fake news.
  • Sixty-four percent agree that nothing would make them pay for news.
  • Leading millennial respondents identify three primary areas that would influence their decision to pay for news: trust and brand association (26%), unique content (24%) and alignment with their values (19%).

SVOD entertainment

  • Fifty-seven percent require more than one service (average of two).
  • Netflix remains the top streaming provider for SVOD subscribers (89%) followed by Stan (26%) and Foxtel Now (23%).
  • Ninety-one percent of respondents (96% of millennials) multi-task while watching TV.
  • Nearly a quarter of SVOD users neither value (21%) nor are confident (23%) in the personalised programming recommendations provided by algorithms.

Social media

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents (95% of millennials) use social media, with Facebook number one across all demographics.
  • Daily social media use has dropped to 55% (59% last year) and is now close to 2014 levels (54%).
  • There has been a sharp drop in those who see social media contact as being equal in value to actual time spent together (40% from 55% last year).
  • Heavy users (those who check in at least 10 times a day) dropped to 9% (12% last year) with Trailing Millennials dropping to 15% (26% last year).


  • Fourteen percent of all respondents attended, watched or streamed an esports event last year, including 26% of millennials.
  • Millennial males averaged four events in person, six via live-streaming and ten using on-demand streaming.

Voice technology

  • Google Home (July 2017), Apple HomePod (Jan 2018) and Alexa (February 2018) are new to Australian homes. The US has taken three years to reach 15% penetration.
  • Younger generations and high income earners ($100k+) are the most likely purchasers (15%).

Data protection

  • Just 15% believe companies take adequate steps to protect data.
  • Ninety-three percent believe they should have the right to ask a company to permanently delete their data, while 76% said they would request permanent data deletion, even if it resulted in a negative impact to their service.
  • Telcos were among the companies most trusted in relation to data management (52%) behind financial service providers and banks (70%). Less trusted were streaming services (20%) and social media (15%).


  • Eighty-two percent would skip past video ads, if possible (77% last year).
  • Sixty-three percent would abandon short form content if they didn’t have the option to do so (58% last year).


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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