Delays in gaining access to new content is the main reason why Australia has the second highest rate of illegal downloading activity behind Russia, a new study has found. This is despite Australia being an attractive, low risk place to create a digital business.
This was a key finding from Ernst and Young's Global Digital Media Attractiveness Index that benchmarks 16 countries on potential earnings from digital media. The advisory services firm used data from more than 36 sources to look at cost, Internet penetration, bandwidth speed, smartphone adoption, content consumption levels, e-commerce and digital advertising sales, and consumer population and spending.
Australia took the top rank globally for political stability and regulatory risk, which contributed to its overall digital attractiveness rank of eighth. Australian consumers, however, are heavy illegal downloaders, ranking second on the index.
Delayed content from overseas is not cutting it for Aussies, who just like anyone else live in an instant, online world, the study found.
“M&E companies need to understand what to offer and the value drivers that will promote legitimate content consumption. This starts with analysing piracy consumption and encouraging greater collaboration on release windows,” said Ernst and Young's media & entertainment leader, Oceania, David McGregor.
Australia is also doing pretty well when it comes to the cost of running a digital business in the country, with the Index ranking us fifth globally.
However, the state of Australia’s broadband and wireless Internet infrastructure compared to overseas may be a barrier to digital growth.
“To succeed in securing Australia’s status as a leading digital nation, we need to continue to improve cost, speed and access. This clearly involves continued investment in infrastructure but also improved and dynamic competition to stimulate innovation,” McGregor said.
When it comes to emerging markets, China, India, Russia and Mexico had the most potential for strong growth.
“The number of broadband connections in emerging markets listed in the index will be 2 billion by 2016, nearly twice that of the mature markets, and smartphone shipments to emerging markets are expected to double between 2014 and 2018,” the study said.
Democratising online access through cheap smartphones and 3G and 4G rollouts in emerging markets will also contribute to their success in digital growth and earnings.
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