News and Press on Products and Services

Netflix, ABC iView & SBS Dominate Oz Streaming Wars

Source: ChannelNews 01 February 2018

Latest findings from Switch Media has revealed Netflix, ABC iView and SBS On Demand are Australia’s dominant streaming players, with over half the population utilising the three services.

Netflix comes in as the market leader, with 69% of Aussies using the service. ABC iView places second with 57%, and SBS On Demand closely behind at 52%.

Based on the response of over 1,000 Australians, the three online streaming providers also come in the best rated for user experience.

On behalf of Switch Media, Stable Research has found older Australians are the primary viewers of ABC iView and SBS On Demand, notching 70% and 67% of over 65-year-olds respectively.

By contrast, the average Australian Netflix user is substantially younger. 96% of 18 – 24 year olds utilise the service, with 74% of these female.

The firm’s latest research reveals on average Australians use 4.3 streaming services.

39% of respondents employ their laptop or desktop PC for online streaming. 34% opt for an Apple iPad, and 30% choose an iPhone. The Smart TV comes in at 28%.

The most popular location to watch online streamed content is in the living room (86%), followed by a user’s bedroom (57%).

Despite the flexibility online streaming offers, only 14% of respondents state they use the service on public transport. 6% watch in their car.

Switch Media Co-founder and CEO, Christopher Stenhouse, affirms the research reflects not only what Australians are watching, but emerging consumer behaviour trends also:

“From our research findings, it’s clear that audiences will experiment with various streaming services, however, the most popular and sustainable services will be those that have the best content and user experience including benefits such as seamless ad transitions and content recommendations”.

Stenhouse also emphasises the growing trend of ‘binge watching’ amongst Australians:

“We are also seeing that Australians are increasingly becoming ‘binge’ watchers. While most consumers (80%) use streamed content as a tool to catch up on programs they’ve missed, 60% are also using it to ‘binge’ watch an entire TV series.

“Cramming an entire original series into a weekend or even one night is definitely becoming a popular pastime with consumers of all ages.”

Switch Media provides streaming technologies used with content delivery for providers such as; Foxtel, SBS, ABC TV, FreeviewTV (20+ channels), plus more.

Switch bullish on streaming market future

Source: iTWire 30 November 2017

Online video content provider Switch Media claims Australia is set for an explosion in demand in the streaming market as content owners, from TV broadcasters to sporting associations and event promoters, seek to capture the new multi-screen savvy consumer.

Switch, an over-the-top streaming technology provider, forecasts greater demand as the streaming market continues its evolution with new services coming online and existing services seeking to maintain market share.

But according to its chief executive and co-founder, Christopher Stenhouse, subscription broadcasters need to diversify to keep market share by providing the flexibility of their content’s delivery to digital natives.

“Take for example Foxtel and their recently launched Foxtel Now box, which we worked with them to develop the software for,” Stenhouse said.

“Our software development allows Foxtel Now subscribers to take their Foxtel Now box anywhere in Australia and instantly gain access to their Foxtel Now experience, as long as they have a TV and internet connection. It also has the added flexibility of Chromecast and the ability to watch free-to-air TV, as well as the ability to install Android TV apps from the Google Play store.

“The subscription style experience in the flexible SVOD format is a significant step in the evolution of streaming technology.

“We don’t see the evolution of streaming slowing down, and as a result have further boosted our executive team with the appointment of Mark Johns, a former leader of broadcasting and media at Ericsson.”

Johns, who previously worked with Switch in its early days, has re-joined the company as global head of Sales after five years working in London as Ericsson’s head of Media and Broadcast Technology.

Stenhouse said the continued consumer uptake of subscription and free video-on-demand (SVOD and FVOD) streaming would also see new players come into the market, “providing even more growth opportunity for Switch Media, which has delivered 40% year-on-year growth since its foundation”.

“Just recently we saw Disney announce that it will pull its content from several SVOD services in the States to enable it to establish a foothold in the streaming market via its own direct-to-consumer SVOD service.

“And beyond that, there are entirely new fields beyond entertainment such as health, education and transport where organisations are looking to high-quality video streaming to enhance and expand service and engagement with their audience.”

Marketer’s simple answer to adblockers: ‘Make ads less irritating’

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 27 NOVEMBER 2017


Online marketers are moving away from trying to design work-arounds for adblocking technology. Photo: Eddie Jim


Advertisers and adblockers have gone head to head, but experts say the focus of marketing companies is now moving away from technological work arounds to stopping consumers from wanting to download them in the first place.

Christopher Stenhouse, chief executive at Switch Media, warned technology would continue to be neck and neck, and so marketers should focus on making their advertisements more palatable to consumers rather than looking for work-arounds.

“Adblocking is hard to do on anything other than a laptop. If ads are less irritating, people are less inclined to install them,” he said.

And making them less annoying for video streaming consumers is not as complicated as it seems.

“Two to three ad breaks for an hour of content [is seen as acceptable],” he said.

Research by Stable Research of 1000 consumers on behalf of Switch Media found 28 per cent of consumers would only tolerate poor ad insertion if it was something they were “desperate” to watch.

Six out of 10 people surveyed preferred a single longer advertisement as opposed to several shorter ones.

And one in five surveyed were totally opposed to advertising, while 43 per cent didn’t “like” ads but were willing to tolerate them.

Some online marketers are currently avoiding technology blocking advertisements by using server-side ad insertion, Mr Stenhouse said.

This stitches the advertisements into the video content being presented, making it harder for computer programs to differentiate between the video content someone is trying to watch and the video advertisement.

It also stops buffering from happening on the advertisement – a key turn off for consumers, Mr Stenhouse said.

“It gets around adblockers and it feels much more broadcast-like … you can use nice transitions, fades and make it a better experience for the viewer.”


“If ads are less irritating, people are less inclined to install [adblockers].”

Christopher Stenhouse, Switch Media


The two major complaints from consumers were buffering on videos and the way they were served advertisements.



Advertising Week APAC director Clive Prosser said the technology was constantly evolving around marketing and advertising tools.

“It will be some businesses’ mission to reduce the impact of ad blockers as much as possible so they can maximise the impact of their digital advertising, while others will see ad blockers as a positive thing, and an opportunity to enhance customer experiences for consumers,” Mr Prosser said.

Marketo senior director of marketing for Asia-Pacific Chris Connell said adblockers evolved due to “generic, irrelevant” advertising, with successful marketers now looking towards highly personalised consumer engagement.

“For these marketing professionals, it’s not about getting around adblockers – it’s about making them unnecessary,” he said.

Ad insertion solution AdEase addresses issues highlighted by recent research

Switch Media worked with Stable Research to commission a body of primary research which explores Australia’s media viewing preferences and consumption habits. See press below for a sneak peak on some initial findings.


Source: Ad insertion placement costing OTT publishers massive revenue, Streaming Media 07 NOVEMBER 2017

Ad insertion placement costing OTT publishers massive revenue


Over the Top (OTT) streaming services offered up by Subscription and Advertising Video on Demand (SVOD & AVOD) companies risk significant revenue seepage as a result of a poor advertising experience, new research has found.

A survey by Stable Research of 1,000 consumers of streamed video content in Australia found 46 per cent  of viewers would switch off as a result of poor ad serving; with a further 28 per cent saying they would only tolerate poor ad insertion if the show were something they were desperate to watch. Only 8 per cent would tolerate poor ad serving.

The research was commissioned by a world leader in OTT streaming technologies, Australian-based Switch Media, which late last year expanded into the US market off the back of keen interest from global OTT players.

Switch Media co-founder and CEO, Christopher Stenhouse, said while streaming services have taken off throughout the world, the research shows that consumers are unhappy with the way advertising is served across the variety of services on offer.

“Four in ten respondents had advertising insertion as one of their major complaints of streaming services,” Mr Stenhouse said.  “The only issue that was cause for greater complaints was buffering.

“The dissatisfaction is something we believe is a universal problem particularly where client-side ad insertion is used. With this insertion method, the latency often results in an ad being served too late or too early.

“Server-side ad insertion, such as our AdEase technology, delivers a seamless, TV-like experience that defeats ad blockers and provides a more reliable play out of complete ads, therefore eliminating much ad-frustration by consumers.

“The research is clear; if consumers are frustrated by the way advertising is inserted, they will switch off and, as a result, broadcasters will be forgoing significant revenue.”

The results – as part of a more comprehensive research study into the consumption of streaming and consumers behaviours to be launched later this year – also showed:

  • Only one-in-five consumers are opposed to advertising being shown on streamed services, with 43 per cent saying while they don’t like advertising, they tolerate it;
  • Most consumers (61 per cent) preferred advertisers to play less but longer advertising as opposed to a number of shorter adverts.

Mr Stenhouse said Switch Media’s breakthrough AdEase technology avoids the need for a client’s ad enabled media to be re-ingested into Switch Media’s system before delivery to the viewer’s device, unlike other server-side solutions in the market.

“AdEase is platform agnostic to where the media is stored and only makes requests for the required media chunks containing the ad break, at time of playback. This saves the customer hours of ingestion time and related costs,” Mr Stenhouse said.

“Unlike other solutions, our customers have the option to integrate our Universal Player with AdEase to provide a seamless integration that can deliver both HLS and DASH technology across multiple platforms, as well as robust analytics.” 

About Switch Media: Switch Media is an Australian company founded in 2006 that is a world leader in delivering online video content for organisations from broadcasters through to government. Its services include content management platforms, app development, and dynamic ad insertion, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices. Its Australian designed and developed video content management solution, coupled with world class technical teams, means Switch can deliver tailored solutions to its clients – anytime, anywhere, any device.

Contact Information

Switch Media
Editorial Contact
John Hanrahan
0411 212 965

CEO Christopher Stenhouse Talking Business with Alan Kohler

Switch Media CEO Christopher Stenhouse talks with Alan Kohler on Qantas Talking Business.


Qantas Talking Business is an Inflight Entertainment radio program, hosted by Alan Kohler. Each month business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators are interviewed about theirexpertise, business, and careers.


Click the following link and select no.10 on iTunes to listen: Christopher Stenhouse talks with Alan Kohler





A Kohler: Well joining me now is Christopher Stenhouse, the CEO of Switch Media. G’day Christopher, thanks for joining us.

C Stenhouse: Hello Alan, good to be here.

A Kohler: Now … to start with, explain what it is that Switch Media does.

C Stenhouse: Yeah, sure. Switch Media in essence is a software company and we design, build and operate online video services for organisations that want to deliver their video over the internet.

A Kohler: And you primarily to do this with mobile phones? I notice that one of your customers is Foxtel Go where you’re organising the video for to be streamed to phones, and also Free TV I think you’re doing the same thing for… But is it just phones or other devices as well?

C Stenhouse: All devices basically, yeah. So you’re quite right… Basically anything you see with a Foxtel brand on it that is coming over the internet is actually coming through our systems and our servers and what we deliver is, as you say, to phones, apps to phones but it can be to tablets, it can be to gaming consoles, to your laptop, to your connected TV, really an exploding plethora of devices these days.

A Kohler: It is indeed. So what other sorts of customers do you have apart from Foxtel and the TV companies?

C Stenhouse: Well the TV companies I guess are the starting point. I mean, really, our customers can be anybody who either owns or has access to video content that they wish to deliver over the internet and so the starting point was media companies and so we now, over the course of 11 years here in Australia and New Zealand, work with and have worked with pretty much every single broadcaster.

You mentioned Foxtel, also ABC, we worked with ABC at the launch of iView back in ’09; with Channel 7 we’ve done — we’ve live streamed the Australian Open for them; with SBS we’ve delivered solutions and we have also worked with Freeview Australia here, the free to air organisation. Similarly, Freeview New Zealand, the organisation for the free to air operators there. But to your point, it moves also beyond broadcasts. One of our other customers is the Australian Federal Parliament, which actually has 70,000 hours of on demand content and we manage that for them as well as their live streams. They are, in effect, a broadcaster themselves.

So it can be government organisations, anybody who wants to deliver, either to customers or to fans or to employees.

A Kohler: So you’re one of the old 11 year overnight successes.

C Stenhouse: [LAUGHS] That’s right, yes, we’ve been toiling away for 11 years now.

A Kohler: Is the business now what you thought it would be?

C Stenhouse: Uh no, I would say that’s probably… If you’re saying what have you learnt over 11 years, I would say one of the main things I’ve learnt is that the business that you think you are about to start is not the business that you actually end up running. We started around the same time as YouTube and we thought well there’s an opportunity for something like a curated YouTube and so we went and collected a lot of short film content from film schools and animators. We put that into a website and then we sought advertising for it because we thought that this would be a way of monetising, of funding this service.

And I can still remember the day we were sitting pitching this to an organisation and there was a little pause and they said, look, not that interested in your content but I really like your platform. Could you get rid of all that content and just let us use your platform?

A Kohler: That must have been a moment.

C Stenhouse: Yeah, well that was the penny-dropping moment where we went ah, okay, maybe that’s the business we should be in. And so that’s the path down which we moved.

A Kohler: And do you still own the business?

C Stenhouse: Yes. Yes, we do. We started it ourselves, bootstrapped it 11 years ago and started literally in our living room and then moved to a two bedroom apartment and now after 11 years we’ve grown to have over 70 employees and we’ve been growing, revenue wise, at over 40% year on year and making money and cashflow positive, so we’re very happy with progress.

A Kohler: What sort of revenue do you bring in?

C Stenhouse: Oh look, we don’t try to get too specific about those numbers, but in terms of over 70 employees and profitable and growing at 40% a year, I hope that gives you some sort of indication as to perhaps where we’re heading.

A Kohler: So obviously it’s not just your business that’s changed a lot in the past 11 years. I mean everything has; YouTube has become colossal and, more importantly, we’ve had Facebook in the meantime. What sort of changes have you had to deal with over that time, you know, in the environment?

C Stenhouse: Well I see increasingly understanding and acceptance of what is there and the technologies that are now available. I mean the fact that the bigger pipes are there and that you can deliver ever-greater quality of video with ever-greater reliability means that it starts to open up, as you prescribed, in ways beyond traditional broadcasters and so while the starting point has been in broadcasting, for us in particular, we’re seeing new content owners and players. So, for example, sporting associations and people who either traditionally have gone through broadcasters or now are saying well we could actually take some of this directly to our own customers or to our own fans and so we’re starting to see that come through.
And beyond that, I think what is starting to happen is completely new fields beyond just entertainment and information and where the people who need access to high quality video streaming, that could be in completely different fields. It could be health, education, transport, for example, even Qantas — we’ve been this year part of trials with Qantas looking at some options for what they can do for providing some alternatives for in-flight entertainment.

A Kohler: I suppose one of the reasons you’re growing at 40% per annum, if not the reason, is that more and more video content is moving to the internet rather than terrestrial broadcasting. Do you imagine there’s going to be a time when all video is distributed that way?

C Stenhouse: I don’t think so. I think there will always be a spread of distribution channels in the same way that cinema’s never really died. I mean we thought they were going to be challenged by DVDs. I think televisions will still always play a role. I think how people choose to watch it will continue to change and one of the things we’re starting to see, in fact we were part of that even when with Foxtel we were delivering the London Olympics. You had the opportunity obviously to watch traditional channels, the live channels on your Foxtel service but at the same time we were providing an iPad or an iPhone version where you could literally have a visual TV guide and you could see all those live channels simultaneously and you could pick and choose which one you watched. So you could actually watch one thing on your screen, on your television, another thing on your iPad and I think we’re starting to see a lot more of that, this what they call ‘companion app opportunity’ which gives you either that or it gives you the opportunity certainly in a sports setting to offer alternative camera angles or the ability to interact and comment on what’s happening. I think those are the sorts of things that seem increasingly to come to pass.

A Kohler: Well I was watching YouTube on my TV the other night. It seems to me that there’s increasing breakdown of what you might call the terrestrial broadcasting monopoly of the television set.

C Stenhouse: Yep, I think very much. I think that’s the case. The monopoly has certainly gone but I don’t think it will go as a channel and I think it will just be something that is an augmentation or it is augmented by these other devices as well.

A Kohler: How far do you think your business can grow? Are you looking at international expansion?

C Stenhouse: Mm, yes, we are and we’ve only just recently returned from a trade show in Las Vegas which is international, one of the biggest broadcasting trade shows there where we launched one of our new products, the service side ad insertion product, because one of the key elements of any of these services is obviously the ability for providers to monetise these services and so we launched our new AdEase product, as we call it, service side ad insertion, which is a much more broadcast like experience at that trade show. And the level of interest is, to be honest, was far better than what we expected and so we’ve already started some… We’re in some quite serious discussions with a number of organisations who are interested in pursuing that a bit further.

A Kohler: So are you finding that you’re doing some things that aren’t being done elsewhere in the world?

C Stenhouse: Yeah, well yes, not being done perhaps with the same speed and innovation because I think one of the things that seems to set us apart from a lot of other players in this space is that we have the three main product elements that anybody who wants to operate in this space or provide an online video service needs, you basically… The first element is you need a basic platform that can take in live content, video content, it can encrypt it, you can edit it, you can associate metadata with it.

The second key product element is what we touched on before, the fact that you can provide these apps that the users or fans or customers install on their different devices to consume, to use the service.

And the third element is this monetisation product, the ability to provide a reliable and much more broadcast like experience, and to have all those three products, which are really the key elements of any of these services under one roof provided by one company, we’re finding this particularly compelling.

A Kohler: Well congratulations Christopher, it’s been a great journey and you’ve built a fantastic business.

C Stenhouse: Thanks Alan. Yeah, we’re very proud of the progress and it looks like there’s plenty more things for us to do.

A Kohler: I’ve been talking to Christopher Stenhouse…


Further Monetising Content Through an Omni-Platform Approach

Leading up to Switch Media’s presence at the SMPTE Conference in Sydney on 18 – 21 JULY 2017, CEO Christopher Stenhouse shared his views and expertise around the adaptation required for the effective monetisation in OTT.

READ PRESS RELEASE BELOW (source: Further Monetising Content Through an Omni-Platform Approach, Posted by Phil Sandberg on July 19, 2017).

Video content creators and broadcasters need to rethink their over-the-top (OTT) streaming strategy and the technologies they use to attract and successfully monetise audiences, according to a leader in streaming technology.

At the start of SMPTE17, CEO of Switch Media Christopher Stenhouse said while OTT streaming has exploded in recent years, many existing players will fall by the way-side unless they adapt to the rapid changes in technology and audience behaviours.

“It is no longer good enough to create apps that only show content on one or both of the mobile device platforms and TV,” Mr Stenhouse said. “Today’s audiences want to be able to view content on any device, anywhere and at any time, seamlessly and without interruption.

“Content should be delivered in a high-quality format not only for mobile devices, but also for platforms such as Chromecast, PlayStation, Xbox, Smart TVs and the various IPTV streaming devices such as Telstra TV. What’s more, content owners and broadcasters must accept that if viewers can avoid advertising, they will, particularly if there is a time lag or buffering.

“Yet many are failing to adopt solutions that not only address ad-blocking technology but also improves the ad experience for viewers through seamless and targeted ad insertion in the delivery of content to the multitude of platforms Australian audiences have embraced.”

As an OTT service provider, Switch Media developed and delivered Foxtel Now.

Mr Stenhouse said the recent rollout of the new streaming service is one example of a major broadcaster adapting to the changes in technology and consumer behaviours around media consumption.

“In the initial stages of development Foxtel acknowledged the changing dynamics of how people are consuming media. This resulted in the product being rolled out across multiple platforms including PCs, Macs, iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, and the fast-growing Chromecast and Telstra TV platforms at launch.

“It has also only last week been made available on PlayStation, and in the near future will be further enhanced to be readily available on even more devices including Xbox and select Smart TVs.

“The omni-platform approach enables Foxtel to grow their audience significant and through Switch Media’s server-side ad insertion technology, AdEase, they will be able to better monetise their content and deliver better outcomes for advertisers.”

Key points:

  • Many current industry players will fall by the way-side unless they adapt to the rapid changes in technology and audience behaviours.
  • The industry must accept that if viewers can avoid advertising, they will, particularly if there is a time lag or buffering.
  • An omni-platform approach enables broadcasters to grow their audience significantly and through Switch Media’s server-side ad insertion technology, AdEase, they will be able to better monetise their content and deliver better outcomes for advertisers.

Switch Media is showcasing its OTT solutions – including AdEase, Switch Live2VOD and MediaManager – at SMPTE 2017 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney on booth G-40.

At 5.30pm tonight (19/07/2017), Switch Media will host a presentation by Foxtel’s Director of Product, Michael Ivanchenko, Mr Stenhouse, Switch Media’s Lead Solutions Architect for Foxtel Karthik Sivaram and Switch Media’s AdEase expert, Tim Armstrong. This presentation will discuss the technology approach, challenges and key learning’s for the development of Foxtel Now, as well as insights around server-side ad insertion technology to support enhanced user experience and revenue optimisation.

Visitors to SMPTE can scan their conference pass at the Switch Media stand for the chance to WIN a 12-month full subscription to Foxtel Now.

Switch Media to exhibit a SMPTE 2017

Luke Durham, CTO & Founder

Global Ad Industry Urged To Adapt TVCs For Streaming Or Lose Millions

Luke Durham, CTO of Switch Media shares his insights on TVC adaption for online streaming. READ PRESS RELEASE BELOW.

Source: Global Ad Industry Urged To Adapt TVCs For Streaming Or Lose Millions, B&T, 29 JUNE, 2017

Advertising creatives must produce TVCs specifically for the burgeoning content streaming audiences around the world to deliver maximum return on investment, according to the chief technology officer (CTO) of an Aussie-based over-the-top (OTT) content company.

Luke Durham, CTO of Switch Media, has warned that to achieve this will require all stakeholders, from platform and content owners to advertisers and their agencies, to collaborate.

“To be blunt, conventional TVCs aren’t high quality or smart enough to engage streaming audiences in an increasingly demanding and competitive content and entertainment market,” he said.

“It’s clear there needs to be a greater understanding and cooperation between industry sectors to ensure uniformities and efficiencies are improved on both the creative/production side and the technical delivery side.

Luke Durham, CTO Switch Media

“There has been too much focus on keeping costs low to support the bottom line rather than producing the right type of creative for the appropriate channel and audience to grow the top line.

“But standard 30-second ads produced for broadcast television do not cut it. In fact, the use of TVCs online is one of the key drivers behind the growth of ad-blocking technologies.”

Switch Media has delivered millions of hours of OTT content over the past decade for Australian clients including Foxtel, SBS, Seven, Network Ten and Freeview.

Durham said that from Switch Media’s experience, content and ads need to be tailored specifically for digital devices.

“There are two sides to the problems that we all need to solve,” he said.

“Firstly, the advertising creatives and producers must consistently produce clever, engaging, original ads with shorter timeframes.

“Studies have shown that six to seven seconds is the optimal length of video for the average user attention span, with 10 seconds being the maximum to not only maintain viewer attention but to engage them.”

Durham said the second major problem is the speed and accuracy of the back-end technology responding to millions of constant content searches literally every second of the day.

“The ongoing challenge for agencies and OTT companies is managing the rapidly escalating volume of content that’s becoming available – literally tens of thousands of programs being accessed by millions of end users simultaneously from multiple sources,” he said.

“The accuracy of metadata provided by the content owners and ad agencies is imperative for each OTT transmission source to identify the content being sought by the viewer, and delivering them simultaneously to millions of devices across the country.”

Switch Media at TVOT San Francisco 28-29 June 2017

As a key sponsor for the event, Switch Media is excited to exhibit and present at TVOT in San Francisco on 28-29 June 2017.

At the event, Switch Media CTO, Luke Durham will share his in-depth experience and knowledge around OTT during a discussion around OTT TV Infrastructure.

We will also showcase our world class online video solutions for OTT including our server-side ad insertion solution AdEase. With advanced anti-ad-blocking and audience targeting capabilities, AdEase enables world-class multi-screen server side ad insertion for both Live and VOD content for a continuous TV-like experience and maximum revenue.


As the Coffee Break Sponsor for the event, attendees can grab a coffee on us before popping over to the Switch Media stand to find more or get a demo on our services from content management, app development and live streaming, through to on-the-fly ad insertion and delivery to viewers across multiple devices.



If you plan to attend TVOT in San Francisco and would like to set up a time to chat, please email Bruce Hume at

The annual TVOT in San Francisco is the global gathering for executives, technologists and creatives working in the Interactive and Multiplatform Television industry/community. The two day conference is also the venue for the presentation of the highly regarded Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television, presented by itvt since 2004. More on TVOT.