Long-running soap opera Home and Away was Yahoo7’s most streamed TV show of 2014, with 12.4 million long-form streams, new data reveals.
It was also the network’s most watched TV show of the year, followed by House Rules, My Kitchen Rules, The X Factor and Winners & Losers.
Yahoo7's Director of Product and Audience, Caroline Casey, says the findings put to bed the theory Australian audiences aren’t engaging in local content.
“Home and Away was the most streamed TV show, so that had over 12 million long form streams, which is pretty amazing,” she tells IF. “It’s also really interesting then when you start to look at the top TV shows, Home and Away, House Rules, My Kitchen Rules and Winners & Losers, and what really stands out to me which is really interesting is that the original local content is so strong in this space.
“Often there’s talk in the industry about ‘what’s the future of original local content, or what’s the future of investing in good quality production’, and I think when you look at this data it really brings home the fact that our audiences really like local shows. In particular, the performance of Home and Away is just so strong.”
Casey says social media is a large contributor to the success of the shows, with audiences tuning into catch-up services if they happen to miss an episode because they want to be a part of the conversation.
Speaking in particular about Home and Away, she says: “I think part of it is people really don’t want to miss an episode. It has got such a strong following. It was the first TV Facebook page in Australia to reach over a million fans and I think now it’s at around 1.5million, and I think it’s just the reaction in social media and the discussion that happens outside of the show is really interesting around Home and Away. I’m not sure if you followed the episode with the death of Casey Braxton – that was everywhere, but especially on social media. You couldn’t miss it, and if you missed it, you had to catch up on it. It reached 2.3 million people.
“I just think that across the board, over a quarter of our audience comes to our TV site to catch up on our TV shows via social media. So it is a really big driver of both TV discussions and people tuning in online.”
A somewhat surprising result from theYahoo7 data is that people are watching more and more content on their mobile phones.
“They are most engaged when watching on a tablet – I think it’s something like over 50 minutes on a tablet device – but we’ve basically seen more people watching on mobiles and tablets versus desktops which is really interesting, that change, and we’re seeing that shift across our entire network as far as people tuning into that content or even just reading content – it’s becoming more common for them to do that on mobile devices,” Casey says.
“From those results, some of the things we’re looking to do in the future is something we call customised personalisation, which is quite a geeky way of saying, ‘If you’re watching on your mobile phone on the way home on the way bus and you don’t finish watching, when you get home you can then finish watching on your iPad or your desktop and pick up from the same point.’
“That’s something we’re just about to release which I think will be a really good consumer experience and it ties into the fact that we are seeing that people are watching on a whole range of different devices, so we want to make sure they don’t have to go back and scroll through the entire episode to get back to the spot they were watching.”
Yahoo7 are also looking to move into personalising content according to viewer behaviour.
“Essentially it’s understanding based on your behaviour what are other types of shows you might like,” Casey says.
“This is something we haven’t introduced as yet into PLUS7 but we’ve done this on our homepage really successfully, so if you go to the Yahoo! homepage you will see something different to what I will see, and it’s not based on your age or whether you’re male or female – that’s targeting. What we actually do is personalise it to consumer behaviour so we can serve you content that’s really of most interest to you.”
Seven has a varied slate scheduled for next year, with titles such as My Kitchen Rules, Restaurant Revolution, Catching Milat and What Really Happens in Thailand.
“So that’s a really broad range of what we have coming up, which is really exciting for us seeing how original content has performed so well and the local content,” Casey says. “The big thing also is that we’ve seen how successful social is and that’s where we will be heading more.”