Streaming ahead – TVNZ OnDemand reaches record high

TVNZ director of content Cate Slater

Average weekly streams on the platform grew 163 percent year on year in FY18 – a trend that TVNZ director of content, Cate Slater sees no sign of abating.**

“We’re investing heavily in growing our OnDemand platform. We’re all about giving viewers choice and control. We’re less concerned about whether viewers watch our content on broadcast TV or online – what matters is that they watch with TVNZ. TVNZ OnDemand has evolved from a catch-up service to a fully integrated entertainment destination. I think the audience response shows we’ve taken things in the right direction.”

NZ On Air’s ‘Where Are the Audiences’ survey released in August showed that while linear broadcast still takes the biggest share of eyeballs (with an average of 2.5 hours of daily viewing), Kiwis are undoubtedly migrating online. The biennial survey pointed to an increase in access to global SVOD giants as a big driver behind this trend. While viewers are consuming more Netflix series and YouTube videos than ever before, there is good news for local players too. The survey revealed TVNZ OnDemand’s daily viewer reach increased from 10 percent of New Zealanders in 2016, to 13 percent in 2018. It also showed TVNZ OnDemand over-indexes with the targeted audiences surveyed, particularly Māori Pasifika and youth audiences.

Slater says the platform’s success is down to smart programming choices and providing users with a wide range of viewing options.

“Content is paramount. We’ve made improvements to the viewer experience in the past 12 months and we’ve expanded our end-point delivery to Apple TV and Chromecast. But you can’t have a slick platform without exceptional programming to back it up…”

“We’ve invested in cult classics like ER, The O.C and Friends. We’ve secured full season stacking rights for popular international shows like The Middle and Lethal Weapon. We’ve sought out programmes that have that addictive quality, like the wildly popular Love Island, or binge-worthy BBC America drama Killing Eve.”

Fan-favourite Shortland Street appears to have this magic formula in spades, with the enduring series remaining popular on TVNZ 2, while simultaneously building a strong TVNZ OnDemand following.

In the year to 30 June 2018, Shortland Street was OnDemand’s most streamed programme, reaching 279,756 viewers with an accompanying 13 million streams. Soaps occupy three spots in the platform’s top 10 list, with Home and Away and Coronation Street following closely behind the local juggernaut.

It’s not just serialised drama that has made its mark this past year. TVNZ OnDemand’s top 10 demonstrates the huge variety of genres that Kiwis are now streaming. Entertainment reality shows are big drivers of viewership with Love Island AustraliaLove Island UK and Masterchef Australia all ranking highly. Sheldon Cooper is as popular as ever, with Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory taking out the top comedy spots on the site, along with local hit Wellington Paranormal. The strategy of commissioning local content exclusively for OnDemand is also paying off, with Gloriavale: The Return and Anika Moa Unleashed sitting among the top 20 most streamed. 

So, what does a typical month look like on TVNZ OnDemand?

This June saw the platform reach 590,000 users, with 360,000 visiting each week.*** TVNZ’s own research shows that 51 percent of all 18 24-year-olds have used OnDemand in the last three months and 25 percent have used it for every week in the month of June, making the platform an enticing proposition for advertisers.

Looking ahead, Slater says the intention is to continue to build on TVNZ OnDemand’s forward momentum. “We want all eyes on us and the stories we tell. To do this we need to be bold and brave in our choices. We need to keep in step with viewers and consistently innovate to remain a big part of their daily lives. It’s a challenge… but it’s one that we’re up for.” 

*Adobe Analytics / Google Analytics July 17- June 18. Statistic NZ population as at 3/8/18.
** NZ On Air, ‘Where Are The Audiences 2018’ (based on all respondents 2014, 2016, 2018)
***Google Analytics 13+, June 18. 

  • For further information, visit tvnzsales.co.nz or contact your TVNZ business manager 

This story is part of a content partnership with TVNZ.

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