The Content Jungle: Australians aren't happy with algorithm program recommendations

Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images for Italia Independent
  • Australians are drowning in content, streaming an average of 13.5 hours of video each week, competing with social media and browsing online.
  • However, many are uncomfortable with the algorithm-based program recommendations on what they should watch.
  • Deloitte’s annual Media Consumer Survey shows most Australians want a way to search through all the content jungle, not just parts of it.
  • Pay television remains the most valued media content subscription.

Australians are faced with so much entertainment they dream of a universal search of the content jungle for the best programs and the best value.

The seventh edition of Deloitte’s annual Media Consumer Survey underlines the proliferation of media and entertainment content and the challenges for both consumers and providers.

Australians stream an average of 13.5 hours of video each week and are seeing the rise of telco-tainment, esports and in-home voice assistant technology.

More than 40% of respondents to this year’s survey purchased a video on demand subscription, such as Netflix or Stan, up from 32% last year.

“But with the entertainment world now at our finger tips, people are finding it harder to decide what to watch, how and where,” says Niki Alcorn, Deloitte Sydney Managing Partner and Technology Media & Telco Consulting Partner.

“Nearly a quarter of respondents are uncomfortable with the algorithm-based program recommendations created to direct us through the content jungle (raising concern about the impact of these on future programming decisions) and 75% would like to be able to search all content in the one place.”

Pay television remains the most valued media content subscription across all ages, stable at 31%, despite 20% of respondents having indicated in 2017 that they would cancel subscriptions in the next 12 months (16% in 2018).

In a content jungle, 91% of respondents multi-task while watching TV, predominantly by using social media.

Australians are spreading their attention time thinly. Most is spent on watching streamed video, which accounts for 20% of total time, but only slightly ahead of social media (19%), followed by web and app browsing (15%).

A snapshot:


Kimberly Chang, Deloitte lead partner, telco-tainment, a move of telcos into digital entertainment, is on the rise with 21% of video and music streaming subscribers now accessing services as part of a packaged internet or mobile plan.

“The strategic importance of digital entertainment to telcos is now unmistakable,” says Chang.

More than two third (70%) of respondents say digital entertainment inclusions from their telco provider influenced their purchase decision, and 79% say it is a key reason for staying as a customer.

“We expect to see telcos increasingly entering content rights deals, particularly through sport, as they strive to create greater value from increased investments in bandwidth,” says Chang.

“The attraction of family or household accounts accessed across multiple devices is clear, although the survey showed that there is a bending of the rules with high levels of ‘extended’ sharing as 26% of respondents (40% of Millennials) share log-in details outside the home at least once a month.”

Deloitte’s snapshot also highlights growth areas in in-home voice technology and esports.

In-home digital voice assistants are relatively new but Australia’s take up rate is rapid.

Nearly 10% of respondents already have devices in their homes and 55% of these use digital voice assistants daily, more trhan half of them Millennials.

Esports are also emerging as an opportunity in the entertainment market, combining video-gaming, social networking, live-streaming and e-commerce in one popular package.

Nearly 35% of male Millennials attended or streamed an average of 20 esport events last year and 47% are heavily influenced by advertising within the gaming environment.

Deloitte’s annual Media Consumer Survey uses self-reported data from more than 2000 consumers in Australia.

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