Our Internet Statistics Compendium has seen another bumper update this month, with an impressive swathe of data focusing on the internet landscape in Australia.

The latest report released by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi) gives a comprehensive overview into how the internet has become integral to Australians as a social tool, a shopping platform and an entertainment channel since 2007.

Yet, it is the report’s insight into audio and video trends which are some of the most interesting, with online perhaps not eating into consumption habits of traditional media as much as we might expect. Be sure to check out the Australia and New Zealand edition of our ISC for more from the region.

Online audio trends

According to the CCi, the number of consumers turning to the internet to either download or listen to music directly is growing steadily. Of the 58% of internet users who do consume music online, 35% do so at least weekly (up from 27% in 2007).

37% of Australian internet users say they access music via paid sites. However, CDs are still the most popular method for people to acquire digital music.

Despite the accessibility of music online, 55% of internet users say it hasn’t affected the amount of music they buy. Intriguingly, 21% say they buy more (13%) or much more (8%) music now they have the ability to download, up from 18% in 2007.

24% buy less (10%) or much less (14%) now they have the ability to download, up from 21% in 2007.

How has the ability to download music from the internet influenced your purchases of music?

Online video trends

Similar trends can be seen with online movies. The majority of Australian internet users say their movie consumption (via purchases) has stayed the same since having the ability to download.

In total, 11% say they now consume more movies (up from 7% in 2007). On the flipside, 19% now watch less because of the availability of films online (up from 9% in 2007).

Video hosting sites are enticing customers the most, with 23% of internet users sometimes and 10% often using them.

Where do you get your digital movies?

Effect on the value of music and movie media

The CCi also looked at the value of digital editions of film and music compared to physical ones. Of those that would spend money on a digital editions (when the physical cost was $40 – around £25), the majority (17% of all internet users) said they would spend $11 to $20.

Overall, the value of digital film and music according to internet users has stayed roughly the same since 2007. 55% wouldn’t spend any money on a digital format which cost $40 in its physical form, up from 51% in 2007 and down just slightly from 56% in 2009.

23% of Australian internet users admit to using file-sharing services, the same proportion as in 2007.

If a boxed DVD or CD set was on sale for $40, for what price would you consider downloading a digital copy instead?

What it means for film and music producers

Despite the growth in numbers of Australian consumers going online to consume music and films, there are increases in the amount of people paying more for traditional paid-for content as there are those doing the opposite, while the majority still consume in much the same manner.

This is promising news for both media producers working in online and offline – and even better news for those working across both channels.

Australia is showing that monetizing online film and music content is viable, with a good proportion of consumers willing to pay for online editions of physical products.

The relatively big growth (10% since 2007) in movie consumers to online can also be seen as a positive for producers keen to explore the monetization opportunity of video hosting sites, rather than a lost cause with illegal file-sharing.

In addition, producers might be enthused by the data which shows digital to actually have a positive impact on physical consumption, at least among some consumers. However, it is certainly worth exploring ways to entice more shoppers over to the idea that physical is worth the higher cost. 

It will be interesting to watch habits change as producers improve their deliverability across online and offline channels – and account for changes, positive and negative, digital media consumption brings.