«Fetch is very well positioned strategically, we are now enjoying strong profitability, and are entering our key growth window,» said chief executive Scott Lorson.
The company says its growth is highly correlated to the NBN rollout as new broadband customers consider the services on offer.
«After a modest 2018, we anticipate record growth in 2019 and 2020 on the back of the accelerated rollout of the NBN and HFC network, in particular,» Mr Lorson said.
He said a big part of Fetch’s appeal is the fact that it acts as an aggregation platform for different streaming service providers which means users can swap between different services but only deal with a single bill.
«Consumer are increasingly valuing the simplicity of one remote, one interface and one bill.»
According to research by UBS, the average pay TV/subscription video on demand customer has a subscription to more than two services.
Fetch’s business proposition is expected to grow more compelling over the next 18 months as more service providers enter the market and compete against the likes of Netflix and Stan. Stan is owned by Nine (owner of this masthead).
«All major international players are either here or planning entry in the next 12 to 18 months and we expect the next 24 months to be the most contested [ever],» Mr Lorson said.
This includes Amazon Prime, HayU, Disney+, 10 All Access and Hulu.
It means consolidation is inevitable given the challenges of those business models and the need for scale, according to Mr Lorson.
The clear market leader is Netflix which picked up 11.2 million Australian customers by the end of February, according to research from Roy Morgan.
Stan is the next largest with 1.5 million active subscribers (on Nine’s latest financial results), followed by YouTube Premium with 1.2 million subscribers as of the end of February. Fetch TV has about 760,000 subscribers, according to Roy Morgan.
The market is expected to grow significantly as more Australians take up these subscription services. According to a January report from UBS, more than 50 per cent of Australian households now have subscriptions to a streaming video service. This is expected to rise to 80-90 per cent over the long term.
Colin Kruger is a business reporter. He joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 1999 as its technology editor. Other roles have included the Herald’s deputy business editor and online business editor.