Broadcast television remains strong, but devices are in hot pursuit, with viewers consistently encouraged to spread their viewing across devices and platforms.
The latest Q4 Australian Multi-Screen Report from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen continues to sing the praises and toot the horns of broadcast telly, despite rampant changes in technology.
While Australians increasingly use connected devices to watch television and other video content, approximately 85 per cent of all video viewing takes place on in-home TV sets, the report claims.
But nonetheless, it is still a drop, down around one per cent from the same fourth quarter period in 2014, reflecting new options that allow Australians to spread their viewing across a range of screens.
When it comes to taking their viewing online, 15.5 per cent of the time Aussies spend viewing any video – including broadcast and non-broadcast content like YouTube – is on computers, tablets or smartphones. This totals an average 15 hours 42 minutes per month – up from 12 hours and 18 minutes in Q4 2014.
And it’s the young Aussies – we’re talking those aged 18-24 – leading the trend, increasingly using connected devices to watch any video content.
Though the proportion of time Australians spend watching linear broadcast TV has declined in the past five years, most television is still watched at the time of original broadcast, i.e. live.
According to OzTAM’s newly created Video Player Measurement Report (VPM) data, Australians played on average 112 million minutes every week of internet-delivered TV content in Q4 2015.
This means VPM content represents about one per cent of all broadcast TV viewing in the period, though certain online program content can see relatively higher audience increases – similar to the way some broadcast programs attract a sizeable proportion of their total audience from playback (time-shifted) viewing.
“The Australian Multi-Screen report continues to provide a holistic national overview of consumers’ viewing habits across platforms and devices,” regional TAM chair and Nine Entertainment director of regional strategy Deborah Wright said.
“In a market where consumers have an ever growing list of options to view video content, the in-home TV set remains the predominate screen of choice. Our Regional TAM audiences in particular are spending almost 95 hours a month on average watching television, which is almost 9.5 hours more than the national average.”
OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer added, “Connected devices are the new PVRs. As penetration rates for conventional personal video recorders level off, the number of PVRs actually in the market has grown dramatically: people now use their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones to watch catch up TV – just as they’ve grown used to time-shifting their broadcast viewing.
“Today, access to content means anywhere, any time, any connected device. OzTAM’s new VPM Report tracks this emerging behaviour, revealing how the audience to a piece of content travels across all platforms.”
The report shows a total of 22.154 million Australians still enjoy kicking back with their broadcast television for both free to air and subscription each month, with an average weekly reach at 87.4 per cent of the population.