Online Video Not Quite Mainstream

Online Video Not Quite Mainstream
youtubesampleSensis released its 2009 e-Business Report today, and amongst the welter of statistics about how Australian businesses and consumers use technology, the one that stuck out for us concerned how much (or how little) we use the Internet for video content.

Regular Lifehacker readers are undoubtedly at the front of the curve when it comes to watching and sharing video online. According to Sensis, 36% of Australians now download video or watch streamed video online. That’s up 4% since last year, but still means that the majority of Australians aren’t into watching video online. There was a similar rise in uploading video to sites like YouTube, an activity which 14% of Australians have tried in the last year.

There’s some relatively obvious reasons why uptake isn’t higher. Relatively slow Internet connections and limited download caps mean that online video can’t really compete with a large-screen TV. That might change with the National Broadband Network, but that isn’t happening in a hurry. At the same time, restrictions on accessing online video from overseas also reduce the appeal of the concept. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the ABC’s ever-expanding iView, I suspect those figures would be even lower.

2009 Sensis e-Business Report


    • Total agreement.

      The cost of internet/download here is astonishing.

      Compare: London, UK – Virgin; about 12 pounds/month (that’s AUD$24) including landline phone service: 20Mbs Unlimited downloads. I watched BBC iPlayer all the time, youtube was my friend, hired videos on iTunes.

      Australia: For eg Optus: $99/month (including landline phone: 20Mbs 20 gig download limit: plus, go over 20gig and you’ll be charged 15c/Mb for 2 gig – THEN they slow you down. Potentially an extra $300 on your bill for 2gig over 20. Disgusting.

      An iTunes video hire is about 1.5 gig. I would use it all the time if it wasn’t for the prohibitive expense of downloads – Apple inc. should get on their case, Australia’s pathetic broadband pricing is surely costing them income.

      Same with phone broadband plans: how is it UK iPhones for about 40 pounds/month ($80) have unlimited internet access? While in Australia, you’d be lucky it $100/month gets you about 300MB – meaning all the hi-tech video functions of the iPhone are pretty much useless, without a huge bank account.

  • Download limiting is definitely annoying here, but I’m more for increased speed and variety of streaming service. Most of the people I know download more than they watch. This wouldn’t be a problem if had HD streaming.

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