Australians have more than 37 million subscriptions to entertainment services – and that number is set to skyrocket

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  • A new study estimates Australians have almost 37 million subscriptions to entertainment services, including video on demand, gaming and music offerings, and it’s tipped to reach 58 million by 2024.
  • More than half of the Australians surveyed say that video on demand streaming services were “essential” during the pandemic, although a third noticed less new content during the period.
  • Music and gaming services both saw growth in subscriptions, while fewer Australians kept their pay TV subscriptions.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Confined to their homes during the pandemic, Australians have turned to virtual offerings for entertainment – and business is booming for entertainment streaming services as a result.

A report released by Australian technology analytics firm Telsyte found that Australians together have have almost 37 million video on demand, pay TV, music and gaming subscriptions. This could rise to 58 million by 2024, according to the firm’s forecast.

Australians added 5.6 million new subscriptions to the end of June 2020, which is 18% higher than the same period the year before.

The study, which combines consumer survey data with industry interviews and publicly available data, found that video on demand and gaming services had seen the most growth.

Australians don’t mind paying for video, as long as it’s on demand

The number of Australian video on demand subscriptions hit an all time high at 16.3 million, up from 12.3 million at the same time last year.

While Netflix and Stan continue to lead the market with 5.4 million and 2.1 million subscribers, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have continued to gain with 1.1 and 1.1. million subscriptions respectively.

Some of these new subscription gains are coming from households who are subscribing to one service. 47% of households with one video streaming service subscription also subscribe to a competitor.

Overall, more than half of Australian subscribers say they consider video streaming services “essential” during the pandemic, although a third of subscribers say they feel there’s less new content on the services during this period.

And while free-to-air television’s streaming services like the ABC’s iView now boast more than 10 million users, pay TV services haven’t enjoyed the same success. Subscriptions decreased by 6% year on year to 2.6 million.

Australians are subscribing to more games services and spending longer on them

Game subscribers have been the other big growth area. By the end of June, Telsyte estimates that Australians have 5.8 million game related subscriptions, including console, video game service and online game subscriptions.

And those who have a subscriptions spent between 25 and 35% more time on games than before the pandemic.

Video game subscription services, which allow users to access a pool of games for a subscription fee rather than purchase them individually, more than doubled to 2 million, up from 900,000 the year before.

Music streaming remains constant, although more Australians are paying for it

While the number of people using music streaming services remained largely unchanged — subscriptions reached 12.2 million at the end of June, up 2% – there was a shift away from free services.

More than half of music streaming services are paid, up from 42% at the same time last year. Spotify, Google (including YouTube music and other services), and Apple remain the most popular streaming services.