Monday, February 4th, 2013
The growth and popularity of online content distribution in Australia will play a vital role in free to air network survival. We are now living in a world where consumers are no longer happy yielding to network schedules, and are more inclined to seek on-demand viewing. Australians now spend an average of over 45 minutes each week watching online content. Work, sport, and social life need not make way for your favourite series any longer.

This realisation is reflected in the expansion of online platforms from the major networks. ABC iView and SBS on Demand have emerged as early leaders, which has seen Channel 7 make a significant investment in this field in the latter half of 2012. It is presumed that Nine will soon also seek to increase their own web-presence given their recent financial consolidation.

The major deterrent to accessing online content is the fragmented nature of network databases. With each network focusing on a ‘walled garden’ approach, the consumer is unable to browse all available video content in a convenient way. is a smart new website that catalogues links to online content across all 5 major Australian free to air networks. Users can view and sort content by popularity and genre both within and across network boundaries. The independence of the site means it is not biased by network marketing campaigns (cue Fango), and instead provides an accurate reflection of ‘what’s hot‘ and ‘what’s not’ based on user ratings. Users can also receive notifications when their favourite shows are updated and suggestions on similar content they might like.

With over 40 000 users since it’s Beta launch in 2012, FreeV is off to a flying start. Founder of the site Sam Rose-Hill attributes its growing popularity to the needs expressed by friends and family that inspired the site’s development. “A lot of people enjoy TV as a way to wind down after work or school and I am the same, but when I get home I don’t want to have to watch whatever is on. If I have an hour to spare, I want to access what is good, what I like and what I am likely to enjoy as quickly and easily as possible. This is why we developed FreeV and why people seem to like it.”

A web-based platform means that FreeV is also accessible on mobile devices. Despite a finding that Australians spend nearly 1.5 hours on average per month viewing online content on their mobiles, not all networks currently allow viewing on these devices. It is hoped however, that as this usership increases, so too will the accessibility and sophistication of network viewing options.

For the moment though, FreeV remains the first and only service to catalogue online content from all major Australian TV networks. Coach potatoes, cluey teenagers and busy parents alike can now rejoice in the viewing freedom and ease of access that FreeV brings.

Contact Profile

Sam Rose-Hill

P: +61401937539


Freeview, TV, On-Demand, Social, Crowd Sourcing,



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