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Dramatic rise in iview audience leads ABC to seek additional funding | @ABCTV

NewsKevin Perry

image - supplied/ABCTV

The ABC has experienced a 50% growth in demand for its iview catch-up service in the last 12 months as Australian TV viewers rush to embrace new technologies for their nightly TV viewing.

Speaking in Senate Estimates on Monday night, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott confirmed iview is,

“now playing out 30 Million programs per month, a year ago it was 20 Million.”

The increased demand for iview has come from the launch of a new iview kids platform, with children’s programming such as Peppa Pig and Shaun the Sheep now the most the most watched shows on the catch-up platform. Mr Scott indicated the arrival of Netflix in Australia and improved broadband packages from Telco’s had also helped to spark viewer adoption of TV streaming.

The rapid growth in iview comes at a time when the ABC, Seven and Nine have experienced further declines in audience for their broadcast channels.

iview has received additional funding in the past to support the growing bandwidth costs, and Mr Scott indicated the ABC would soon approach government again for additional funding.

The ABC has developed most of the technology behind iview internally, but relies on companies such as Akamai, Hostworks, and Amazon Web Services to provide the Content Delivery Network (CDN) that delivers the video to users.

Mr Scott also confirmed the ABC was looking to implement High Definition options for the iview catch-up service, which is currently only available in Standard Definition.

Beginning yesterday, ABC’s primary channel is now available as a live stream on iview, allowing national audiences to watch the NSW version of the channel on computers, smartphones and tablets.

As previously revealed by DeciderTV, the ABC will make all of its broadcast channels available as a live stream on iview in the first half of 2016.