Survey: Consumers balance data privacy against personalisation

Annual pulse check on consumer media and entertainment habits finds data privacy key concern, with opportunities in voice-enabled smart speakers

Consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for personalisation, depending on whether the service meets their expectations, according to Deloitte’s eighth annual Media Consumer Survey. And consumers want the ability to have their data removed, but the choice to do this is impacted by loss of personalisation, according to the survey.

The report found a desire for ownership and control of personal data, with 62 per cent of respondents believing they should have the right to ask a company to delete their data, and 65 per cent indicating interest in editing what’s collected. However, of the 62 per cent believing they should be able to request their data be deleted, only 31 per cent would do so if it meant losing features like personalised recommendations.

Deloitte lead media partner, Adam Power, said media companies have some work to do to gain the trust of their customers. For example, when asked which top three companies respondents trust most with their data, pay TV (25 per cent), streaming services (20 per cent) and studios/networks (15 per cent) all fared poorly, compared to financial institutions and telcos (70 per cent and 61 per cent respectively).

“A whopping 78 per cent of respondents believe companies aren’t taking adequate steps to protect their personal data. This is an improvement from 85 per cent last year, but this high figure reflects sustained levels of distrust,” said Power. 

Deloitte's report, which examines an array of media and digital entertainment preferences of Australian consumers, also looked at take-up and use of voice-enabled smart speakers, streaming, newspaper and magazine subscriptions and podcast popularity.

In particular, the survey shows modest growth in smart speakers from 9 per cent to 12 per cent of respondents since 2018, while ownership increases with income levels. Google dominates the supplier list with 74 per cent of ownership.

On the marketing front, smart speakers present many opportunities for brands, although respondents revealed advertisements are not yet welcome on voice platforms. The opportunities lie with the use of branded third-party voice applications, such as ordering an Uber, checking a bank balance, or confirming flight details, with just 20 per cent of respondents having used their smart speaker for this purpose at this time.

Read more: What you need to know about voice-based marketing

8 brands using voice activation to boost brand engagement

In terms of other media, survey respondents report feeling overwhelmed with the number of streaming platforms available with content dispersed across many platforms requiring more than one subscription and confusion in finding the desired content. 

“Pay TV providers, telcos and digital giants such as Amazon and Apple TV are perfectly positioned to develop their existing services and become aggregation power houses,” said Power.

Legacy media, including newspapers and magazines, hasn't completely gone out of fashion. Deloitte's survey shows print is still valuable, despite relatively low ownership, with the number of respondents having newspaper and magazine subscriptions now at 15 per cent and 8 per cent respectively, a slight drop from last year.

“We’ve found most respondents still prefer physical print versions (59 per cent) over digital versions (24 per cent), proving that print is a valuable component of the media landscape,” Power commented.

When it comes to podcasts, the responses show some opportunities, but it’s not a clear path to monetisation. Only 16 per cent of total listeners have paid to listen to a podcast, and that payment is most commonly for an individual episode on websites rather than dedicated services.

“However, subscription music services such as Spotify have emerged as a key platform for podcasts, with almost a third of all listeners accessing them through such services," Power said.

The Deloitte survey is carried out annually by an independent research organisation using self-reported survey data from more than 2000 consumers surveyed in Australia. It explores the changing habits of digital media and entertainment consumption and trends impacting the industry and how they may shift in the future.

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