GM for global BBC iPlayer Matthew Littleford gives first indication of how the pilot VOD service is performing in territory
Australia is the biggest market for global iPlayer to date and is providing some unique consumer insight, according to Matthew Littleford, General Manager for BBC Worldwide’s global BBC iPlayer, who presented today at the 10th annual Australian Broadcasting Summit.
Launched in Australia in September 2011 as part of a pilot, the global BBC iPlayer is available on iPad, iPod and iPhone in 16 markets in Western Europe, Canada and Australia. In terms of subscription numbers Australia’s global BBC iPlayer is now larger than the second and third countries combined (Germany and Holland), accounting for 20% of its global revenue. Twenty three per cent of global BBC iPlayer’s subscribers and 19% of the title downloads are in Australia. Matthew revealed that there had been a huge number of downloads of the free app and, of all the major territories, conversions to the paid service are higher in Australia than anywhere else, across all devices.
In the first indication of how the pilot global BBC iPlayer is performing in Australia, Matthew said that it was in line with other territories in terms of the way that it was consumed. Thirteen per cent of Australian users access the app on multiple devices and 7% of subscribers don’t have an iPad, implying that they are watching content solely on iPhone and iPod touch. Also in line with other markets, the average Australian subscriber watches 4.2 shows a week.
However there are significant differences. Matthew revealed that in Australia there was more demand for content to be viewed out of home. Australia significantly over-indexed in the use of the download-to-view offline functionality, implying that Australians are accessing content to view whilst travelling or commuting. Over a fifth of content is being accessed in this way (21%), compared to around 16% in other territories.
He also talked about viewing patterns in Australia. Global BBC iPlayer viewing peaks at 9pm and also 7am for the kids content, with daytime viewing higher at the weekends and around a third more viewers on Saturday daytime than during the week (daytime 10am-5pm).While Pareto’s 80:20 rule says that 80% of a broadcaster’s revenues generally come from their top 20% of content, with global BBC iPlayer in Australia and elsewhere the top 20% of shows generate around 60% of total views. This doubling of share for the long tail indicates that there is huge potential in VOD platforms to bring about some important changes in how TV businesses view their content portfolio, he said.
In Australia the most popular genres are Science Fiction, Family and Kids, and Comedy, with favourite shows: Doctor Who, Charlie and Lola and cult comedy Gavin and Stacey. The major brands draw users in, but it’s the older archive titles such as Steptoe and Son and Yes Minster that make them stay. This detailed consumer insight, combined with direct viewer feedback, enables the Australian global BBC iPlayer manager, based at BBC Worldwide in Sydney, to tailor programs and collections for the local market.
Says Matthew Littleford: ‘This graphically demonstrates the fact that VOD gives us a unique consumer insight. It clearly shows how a VOD service can quickly optimize itself to different territories by simply listening to its viewers. Editorial decisions are already being made on a whole range of completely measurable new insight gained directly from existing viewer interaction and localised for each territory.’
Adds Deirdre Brennan, GM/Director for Channels and Branded Services at BBC Worldwide Australia: ‘We’re delighted that Australian consumers are reacting so positively to the Global BBC iPlayer pilot in territory and believe that the valuable insight we are receiving will enable us to schedule, nurture and optimise the service for the local market, working alongside our existing clients.’
Press contact: Laura Dumbrell, Head of Communications, BBC Worldwide Australia on 02 9744 4502 or 0412 456 604.
About BBC Worldwide Australia
Australia is a priority territory for BBC Worldwide, focusing on growth across all five of its core businesses. Based in Macquarie Park, Sydney, the company’s addressable market share has trebled in three years. BBC Worldwide Australia wholly owns five channels; UKTV, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies in Australia; UKTV NZ and BBC Knowledge NZ in New Zealand; and is responsible for the sales, promotion and distribution of World News which transmits in both countries. It distributes great British content from the BBC and other producers to all free-to-air and most subscription channels in Australia and New Zealand. BBC Worldwide Australia is a stakeholder in Australian production company Freehand and has a joint venture company with ACP, Park Publishing, which publishes BBC-branded magazines in the territory. It works with partners to bring BBC Worldwide DVDs, digital apps, innovative products and live events to the local market, as well as offering advertising opportunities for the BBC’s world renowned bbc.com news site and lonelyplanet.com. BBC Worldwide Australia has recently launched the global BBC iPlayer in Australia.
We’re delighted that Australian consumers are reacting so positively to the Global BBC iPlayer pilot in territory and believe that the valuable insight we are receiving will enable us to schedule, nurture and optimise the service for the local market, working alongside our existing clients.’