TVNZ Ondemand blows out a few innovative candles

  • Digital
  • March 26, 2012
  • StopPress Team
TVNZ Ondemand blows out a few innovative candles

TVNZ Ondemand launched on 20th March 2007 as Australasia’s first catch-up television service. Five years on and the TV industry is nigh-on unrecognisable and while all major broadcasters face plenty of challenges coping with the rapid change, TVNZ's 'inspiring New Zealanders on every screen' philosophy means there are also plenty of opportunities for the growing online platform. 

Ondemand kicked off with only New Zealand content, but added international content from September 2007, previewing new shows like Fringe, The Cult and Flash Forward before they aired on TV2’s new season in 2009, a few years before MediaWorks did the same thing with this season's new shows New Girl and Homeland.

TVNZ Ondemand’s PS3 service was the first of its kind for a commercial broadcaster and gave PlayStation owners the ability to watch episodes of their favourite shows through their PS3 device on their televisions.

Then came the International Emmy award winning Reservoir Hill, a ground-breaking online only series in 2009, followed by the quirky and very funny online-only comedy Auckland Daze in 2011 that is soon to find a home as a six-part series on TV ONE.

In November the entire video platform was replaced with Brightcove’s world-leading service, which Tom Cotter, general manager of digital media at TVNZ, says has vastly improved the quality of video delivered to users, reducing buffering and errors by over 80 percent.

“When we launched TVNZ Ondemand it was in an era where viewers were happy to receive something, somewhere, in any quality," says Cotter. "Today we all expect to see everything, everywhere in perfect quality. Our next generation of platform has enabled this—and we have only begun to leverage its capabilities."

Much like traditional print versus online news, there is still a big gap between the ad revenue gained from traditional broadcast versus that gained on Ondemand (TVNZ didn't get back to us to discuss ad revenue for the online platform). But there has been a fair swag of innovation to try help grease the wheels for advertisers, with Ad on Pause, Ad Selector, Ad Hover and, most recently, iPhone Click to Call.

With competition from all fronts, including news organisations like Fairfax and electronics companies like Sony now dabbling in IPTV, online video (YouTube has just dished out $100 million for fresh content), streaming services like Netflix, the rise of 'social TV' slowly bringing live broadcasts back into fashion, and, of course, the ever-present e-pirates, there are still plenty of challenges to overcome.

But there are also plenty of positives. As the latest ASA figures showed, online advertising is steaming ahead and is becoming increasingly more traditional; time-shifted viewing is on the up and its gorwing importance for ratings was recently referenced by Nielsen; February stream views were up 48 percent year-on-year to over 1.6 million and 1.8 million unique browsers (it's New Zealand's sixth most popular website); 70 linear years of content viewed in February alone; and TVNZ expects growth to continue.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Radio stations to merge in MediaWorks restructure

  • Radio
  • November 15, 2018
  • Radio New Zealand
Radio stations to merge in MediaWorks restructure

A major restructure is underway at broadcaster Mediaworks, with its two biggest radio stations set to merge.

Read more
Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2018 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit