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Media Consumer Survey 2022

Australian media and entertainment consumption insights (eleventh edition)​

About the Survey

For many Australians, digital media and entertainment is now a staple of modern life. But what are our most telling consumption habits? What floats our boat, or grinds our gears? And do our choices really reflect our age?

Our eleventh Media Consumer Survey focuses on audience behaviours, attitudes and trends in digital media and entertainment services. We delve into the opportunities and challenges for audiences and the industry, including:

  • The proactive approach consumers are adopting to manage their digital media relationships in the battleground for audience attention.
  • How increasing pressure on entertainment budgets are compelling media providers to rethink the way they attract and retain subscribers.
  • The impact of social media and UGC on generational consumption habits.
  • The generational differences in how news is defined and consumed, and what drives trustworthiness in information sources across providers.
  • How engagement with sport is evolving across a much broader and more varied content experience.

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Explore the findings

Key insights

The subscription juggle: Consumers take control

Who ever said less is more? Australian households hold an average of 3.1 digital subscriptions in 2022, up from 2.3 in 2021. But providers beware: nearly half of consumers are taking advantage of market saturation to regularly review, chop and change their subscriptions.

Key findings include:

  • 84% of households have a paid digital media subscription
  • SVOD leads the way with 74% of respondents having at least one subscription in their household, followed by music (44%), sport (30%), pay TV (21%), gaming (5%) and news (4%)
  • 33% of respondents added a subscription in the last six months, while 31% cancelled.
Scrimping, saving, streaming: Managing media spend

Content unbundling, and the shift to on-demand consumption, has given audiences a near-limitless set of entertainment choices – reflected in rising household spend on digital media subscriptions. But the average consumer is now 13% above their target budget and feeling increasingly cost-conscious.

Key findings include:

  • Households spend an average of $62 per month on digital media subscriptions (up from $55 in 2021)
  • 64% of respondents are concerned about the cost of having multiple subscriptions
  • Reducing spend is the most common reason respondents cancelled an SVOD service.
It’s complicated: Our love-hate relationship with ads

Free, ad-funded entertainment alternatives are increasingly attractive as entertainment costs rise, and it’s a trade-off consumers are accustomed to making. However, audiences remain willing and conditioned to pay for quality and exclusivity of content, user experience and universal access across devices.

Key findings include:

  • 40% of respondents are interested in watching six minutes of ads per hour for a discounted $5 monthly subscription
  • 42% of respondents are interested in watching 12 minutes of ads per hour for a free subscription
  • Gen Z are most comfortable paying for entertainment to avoid ads (64%), followed by Millennials (61%), Gen X (38%) and Boomers (25%).
Media’s next horizon: Social, UGC and the metaverse

When it comes to emerging media developments like the metaverse, interest is high – but adoption, and understanding, remain low. Meanwhile, user-generated content (UGC) continues to surge in popularity, and social media platforms have evolved into entertainment destinations that bring content and consumer experiences to life in all forms.

Key findings include:

  • 68% of respondents believe engaging with friends and family on social media is as rewarding as engaging in real life
  • 58% of Gen Z and 49% of Millennials know what the metaverse is and are interested in it, compared to just 10% of Boomers and 8% of Matures
  • 59% of respondents watch more UGC now than they did six months ago.
Balancing media content: The trust and influence equation

The intersection of social media, user-generated content and traditional media has had a tangible impact on consumer thought and behaviour. But how do we perceive that influence?

  • TV reigns supreme for news consumption: it’s the primary source for 34% of respondents, while 64% have it in their top three
  • Respondents most value perceived trustworthiness (82%) followed by perceived quality (79%) and ease of access (75%)
  • 17% of respondents are unsure which news sources they can trust.
Sport: More than just a game

In 2021, a return to live sport saw it compete for audience attention with the entertainment alternatives that flourished during the pandemic. But Australia’s appetite for sport remains strong, and engagement is expanding: one third of sports watchers prefer to engage with alternative content like highlights, documentaries, drama shows, in-depth analysis or fantasy and wagering ahead of live coverage.

  • 30% of households have a sport subscription in 2022, up from 18% in 2021
  • Two-thirds of respondents now spend 10% or less of their total viewing time on sport
  • 38% of respondents engage regularly with women’s sport (47% of men, 28% of women).

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