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Streaming Creating 'New Prime Time' in Australia

Photo of a woman, watching TV
Sean Fang Thu, 18/06/2015 - 15:39

The viewing landscape in Australia has dramatically changed following the arrival of local and overseas streaming services, says the CEO of one of these platforms.

Mike Sneesby, CEO of Stan Entertainment told audiences at the Mumbrella 360 event that streaming services like his own Stan, and rivals Netflix and Presto have forever changed how and when people choose to watch television. And the change, he says, may not be all bad news for the free-to-air networks.

Traditional prime time runs from around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., or as Sneesby explains, "It starts almost like a brick wall at 9 p.m., which coincides obviously with those consumers who have watched their news, their current affairs, their favourite reality shows or their favourite dramas that have been produced by the free-to-air networks."

But now that Aussies have access to unlimited streaming, they now have some great choices to continue their watching well after 9 p.m. Stan's own numbers show that once the free-to-air prime time period ends, a new one starts on their network, one that goes all the way to midnight before tailing off.

This shows, according to Presto's Shaun James, that streaming is complementary for free-to-air, and not always competitive.

"It's complementary, it's an add on," said James. "People are finding ways to use the service when they're maybe not watching television, they're doing something else ... [Presto has] seen that later evening prime time as well."


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