A recent report by management consultancy specialists Deloitte has highlighted that Australia’s digital entertainment landscape is in a state of flux.



Deloitte's Media and Entertainment Consumer Insights 2023 contains some intriguing data regarding the way people consume entertainment content in Australia.

The annual demand for advertisement-free subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services per household has increased slightly, contradicting previous predictions that a boom was on the cards.

The slow-down is attributed to several crucial factors including the availability of free-to-air content and the increased popularity of ad-supported subscriptions.

Many consumers have tightened their belts due to the rising cost of living, while competition from other entertainment choices have also had a major impact.

However, the most noteworthy shift in the digital media landscape in Australia is the rising prevalence of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services.

These have resulted in a significant number of people either downgrading their subscriptions or completely cancelling them. Content aggregation has also played a part.

Nearly half of the respondents in Deloitte’s survey said they found it difficult to navigate their way around the current digital media landscape.

This factor has sparked increased demand for subscription services which aggregate different streaming options into one single platform.

Competition from other entertainment sectors is also contributing massively to the ongoing shift in consumer habits in Australia.

Online gaming has undoubtedly become a thorn in the side for digital media content providers, with the genre taking a sizeable chunk out of the market.

According to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, four out of every five people in Australia regularly play video games.

Report author Dr Jeffrey Brand, Professor at Bond University, highlighted how some key demographics are driving the shift in consumer habits.

“We saw more women playing games than ever before with 48% of Australian gamers being female, up two percent on the previous report,” Dr Brand said. “Women over 65 are also more likely to play video games than elderly men.

“Aussie gamers over 65 play to be challenged and improve their mental health, with a focus on mental stimulation and fighting dementia.

“Video games offer something for everyone - anyone can be a gamer, not just children and students, but parents, grandparents, your coworkers and your boss.”

Another factor which has influenced the shift in consumer habits in Australia is the rise in popularity of online casino and sports betting sites.

Demographics have once again played a key role in this, with some states reporting that around one third of adult women place wagers online on a monthly basis.

Advancements in smartphone technology and improved Wi-Fi connectivity have made iGaming far more accessible, resulting in the sector becoming more balanced from a gender perspective.

The increased prevalence of sports betting apps has helped Australia become one of the busiest gambling jurisdictions in the world – a factor which has impacted consumer spend elsewhere.

Once widely viewed as a male-dominated arena, the practice of betting online is now an entertainment activity which anyone and everyone can enjoy.

When factoring in that females are often influential in determining how the entertainment budget is spent in a household, it is easy to see why the landscape has been shifting.

As the technology powering these sites becomes even more sophisticated, they will likely become an even bigger threat to digital media content platforms.

While SVOD and AVOD services will still take a sizeable chunk out of the market, their dominance of the entertainment sector is not as guaranteed as was previously forecast.