Social media drives online viewing

Over 8.5 million Australians over the age of 14 have watched films, drama and documentary online in the last year, with a third engaged with social media.

More evidence today that online viewers are rapidly growing as a proportion of the audience.

57 per cent of online viewers now watch more feature films, television drama and documentaries than ever before.

A Screen Australia survey found that most viewers still use the web as a complementary content source not as a replacement for traditional platforms.

Seven in 10 online viewers say they typically search for a specific title, rather than browse. 26 per cent said they often see, hear and read interviews with the cast and crew via television, radio, magazines and newspapers.

But only 22 per cent said they viewed official screen content sites while 28 per cent viewed general sites.

Social media has revolutionised the speed and scale of word of mouth. While the platforms will continue to work together in building awareness for selected content, connections across sites such as Facebook and Twitter are circumventing traditional marketing campaigns.

30 per cent of online viewers now say they often read posts on these sites before deciding what to watch and half of those post comments back once they’ve viewed.

“In considering the growing online competition and the strategic opportunities that come from social media, we’ve identified one group of people who are deeply connected to both screen culture and social media,” said Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley. “These people are perfect targets to reach and ultimately drive awareness for local screen stories.

“We’ve called them Connectors. They’re generally affluent, modern, young people who stay in touch with the latest technology and rely on social media to organise their lives. They find the time and the cash to watch all kinds of content, on all platforms. They’re out there, leaning in. They make, not wait, for recommendations.”

Screen Australia says ‘Connectors’ account for 4 per cent of people aged 14 years and above. It describes them as ‘generally affluent, modern, young people who live in cities. They stay in touch with the latest technology, and rely on social media to organise their lives. They find the time and the cash to watch all kinds of content, on all platforms.’

75 per cent of ‘Connectors’ watch feature films, TV drama and/or documentaries online. Of those, one in five hype their viewing experiences via social media and ‘other online’ forums.

“You can’t control word of mouth but you may be able to influence it by communicating with the right tools to the most engaged audiences. The challenge is clear. Creative, dynamic efforts are needed to ensure audiences continue to stay with Australian stories in an increasingly competitive multi-screen world,” said Dr Harley.

“It is encouraging to learn that long-form narrative is not a lost art in the online space and that online viewing is not limited to the world’s funniest bloopers,” said Harley. “In fact, 8.5 million Australians over 14 years old have watched films, drama and documentary online in the last year, with over a third highly engaged on a monthly basis.”

2 Responses

  1. If the Mel Gibson movie you are talking about is get the gringo it hasn’t been released direct to DVD in this country, according to imdb there are some cinemas currently screening it. But plenty of movies are getting released straight to DVD and blu ray now because often putting them out to a cinema release actually runs at a loss. People have been looking for this movie, but not being in rental stores and having a very limited cinema release most will probably turn to the Internet.

  2. Very interesting. I heard on the radio today that the new Mel Gibson movie is made for video release only.This is more economical as you do not have to pay for huge marketing for a cinema release. I wonder if we will see the day when movies and tv shows will be made for internet release only. They would save lots of money, free marketing on social media, no middleman fees, no need to even print DVDs. Just pay per view and watch it on you 60 inch internet enabled, hi Def TV with stereo sound. Times are a changing.

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