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Netflix and Lightbox battle it out for Kiwi affection

03 Mar 17

More than a million Kiwis are now subscribed to Netflix, while Lightbox has been revealed as the faster growing Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) provider, according to new data from Roy Morgan Research.

The survey revealed nearly 2 in 5 Kiwis now have SVOD – and 1 in 10 already have at least two services in the home.

By the end of 2016, an estimated 1,066,000 New Zealanders aged 14+ subscribed to Netflix - up 56% compared with 684,000 in December 2015.

The number of Kiwis with Lightbox more than doubled over the period, from 285,000 to 630,000.

“Of course, the SVOD market isn’t a zero-sum game. What at first seems like a never-ending catalogue might seem a tad incomplete after a few months of binge-watching,” comments Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan.

At the end of 2015, only 108,000 Kiwis had both Netflix and Lightbox; a year later this had more than tripled to 337,000.

Between them, Neon and Quickflix only reached around 127,000 Kiwis in the December 2016 quarter. Altogether, 1.4 million Kiwis aged 14+ (37%) have one or more of these four SVOD services in the home, up from 900,000 at the close of 2015. Over one in four subscribers now have two or more of these SVOD services in the home, up from one in six a year earlier.

Number of New Zealanders with Netflix and/or Lightbox:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand, October 2015 to December 2016, average quarterly sample = 1,587 New Zealanders aged 14+.

 “Half a million more Kiwis added a SVOD service to their home entertainment mix in 2016,” says Morris.

“The market still has plenty of room to grow by reaching totally new SVOD users, however much of each provider’s own gains are actually their competitors’ customers adding on second and subsequent services,” he says.

“When Roy Morgan last publicly reported its New Zealand SVOD research for the period to June 2015, just over one in 10 Kiwis had SVOD; now one in 10 have two or more SVODs in the home,” Morris explains.

“Spark’s Lightbox more than doubled its reach in 2016, and the rate of cross-over with Netflix indicates that most of its growth came as Netflix subscribers decided it was time for another SVOD service during the year,” he claims.

Morris says despite making some competitive changes to their plans, prices, content catalogues and compatible devices, Neon and Quickflix remain well behind Netflix and Lightbox.

“Currently fewer than 150,000 Kiwis have a home subscription to either of the two smaller providers, and the lion’s share also have Netflix or Lightbox,” he says.

Morris says in order to build subscription numbers, Lightbox should focus on targeting the 700,000 Netflix subscribers who could be on the lookout for their second SVOD service in 2017.

“Neon and Quickflix should go further still, and hone their core target market this year down to the 337,000 Kiwis who have already demonstrated their love of SVOD by subscribing to both Netflix and Lightbox,” he says.

“The subscription revenue is the same, regardless.

“Roy Morgan’s in-depth consumer profiling can pinpoint the demographics, geography, attitudes, lifestyle, and media habits of New Zealanders with individual or multiple SVOD services,” Morris concludes.

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