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Streaming to outstrip pay TV as Aussie SVOD services loom large

The number of paid streaming subscriptions is set to double in Australia in the next three years. And while Netflix might be number one now, the local players are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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Netflix launched in Australia in March 2015.

Claire Reilly/CNET

Streaming subscriptions are set to outstrip pay TV subscriptions in Australia within three years.

That's the assessment of tech analyst firm Telsyte, which is predicting that the number of paid subscription video on demand (SVOD) services in Australia will more than double, from 1.9 million subscriptions in June 2016, up to 4.1 million in June 2019.

Australians may well subscribe to a number of SVOD services at the same time, and may keep their pay TV subscription alongside these streaming options. But there's still no doubt that streaming is growing at a rapid pace.

The SVOD market has been going strong in Australia over the past year, despite two of the three major players, Netflix and Stan, launching less than 18 months ago. The third service in this triumvirate, Presto (part-owned by pay TV provider Foxtel), has been on the scene since 2014 and launching TV streaming in early 2015.

But while it's still early days for SVOD, Telsyste says it expects there to be 2.7 million active subscriptions in Australia by the end of this month (compared with 3.3 million for pay TV), up 46 percent since the same time in 2015.

Netflix is leading in terms of paid subscribers, followed by Stan and then Presto. But while Netflix has international name recognition, the Aussie locals are still a force to be reckoned with on the market.

"Local players Stan and Presto have been growing faster than Netflix in the past 12 months as appetite for more content drives people to adopt a second or third provider," Telsyte said in a release. "One in five Netflix customers has more than one SVOD service according to Telsyte research."

With more subscriptions comes more data: According to Telsyte's research, SVOD streaming now accounts for 30 per cent of subscribers' mobile data use.