Australians are watching more television on in-home TV sets year-on-year (YOY) and continue to adopt new screen technologies, according to the latest Australian Multi-Screen Report.
Total use of the television screen has also risen YOY, reflecting the progressive take-up of new devices attached to the TV set, and of televisions with the potential to connect to the internet.
Use of the TV set for secondary purposes has not come at the expense of overall broadcast TV viewing YOY and has reinforced the big screen’s primary screen status in households.
Nielsen’s senior vice president, cross platform audience measurement, Erica Boyd said: “Our research at Nielsen shows that Australians are consuming more video content than ever before. More content across a number of sized screens and across various digital and native channels. Consumers want to view content anywhere, anytime on the device they want. This is creating a huge opportunity for broadcasters. The highest quality content will be king in this environment.”
Snapshot of TV viewing and technology penetration in Australian homes
In Q2 2014 Australians across the population watched an average of 97 hours and three minutes (97:03) per month of broadcast television (both free-to-air and subscription channels) on their in-home TV sets – up 26 minutes per month YOY.
This equates to a little over three hours per Australian per day and has been consistent over the past decade.
91.8 per cent of all in-home TV viewing in the quarter was live and 8.2 per cent was viewed in playback – that is, when viewers watch broadcast TV material they have recorded within seven days of original broadcast using a device such as a PVR or DVR.
55 per cent of Australian homes have at least one PVR and 14 per cent have two or more. On average, Australians devoted seven hours and 58 minutes per month in the quarter to playback viewing (7:46 a year ago).
Four in five Australian homes (80 per cent) have an internet connection and that figure has been steady for the past five quarters.
During Q2 2014 Australians aged 2+ spent an average of 39 hours and 27 minutes (39:27) per month online on home and work computers.
Their viewing of any online video on a PC or laptop (e.g., streamed video such as internet-delivered catch-up TV as well as other video content) increased to an average of eight hours and eight minutes per month (6:26 a year ago).
42 per cent of homes have tablets – unchanged from Q1 2014 and up from up from 33 per cent in Q2 2013. Across the Australian online population aged 16+ people claim to spend 1:47 per month watching any online video on a tablet.
71 per cent of Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone, compared to 65 per cent in Q2 2013, and 69 per cent in Q1 2014. Across the Australian online population aged 16+ people report spending 1:56 per month watching any online video on a smartphone.
Internet-capable televisions (i.e. ‘smart’ or ‘hybrid’ TVs, whether connected or not) are now in 27 per cent of homes, steady on Q1 2014 and up from 22 per cent a year ago.
Following the switch-off of analogue free-to-air television broadcasts, 100 per cent of Australian television homes can receive digital terrestrial television (DTT). 94 per cent of television homes can receive free-to-air digital TV channels on every working TV set in the home. Six per cent have secondary televisions which although unable to receive free-to-air channels may be used for gaming, playing DVDs or as a computer monitor.
Although viewing of television and other video varies by age group, all major age groups spend the majority of their screen time watching broadcast TV on in-home sets.
Total TV screen use
Australians’ total use of the TV set has grown YOY, averaging out at 16.7 TARP across the whole day (Q3 2013 – Q2 2014) compared to 16.5 TARP a year earlier.
Live and playback viewing have been steady for the past two years, with other screen use rising – that is, when people use their TV screens for purposes such as gaming, viewing over-the-top (OTT) internet-delivered services, internet browsing, or watching playback material (programming they have recorded using a device such as a PVR) beyond seven days from original broadcast.
The growth in total TV screen use reflects the progressive take-up of new devices attached to the TV set (e.g., games consoles, PVRs and OTT services) as well as the rising number of homes with TVs that have the capability to connect to the internet.
Interestingly such secondary TV screen usage has not come at the expense of live or playback viewing in the past year. Rather, more people are in front of the TV set, and increasing their use of it – reinforcing the big screen’s position as the household main screen.
OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “The Multi-Screen Report shows Australian viewing habits are changing gradually rather than dramatically. Secondary use of the TV set is bringing more people in front of the TV, increasing the overall amount of time spent with the big screen and reinforcing its place as the household ‘main screen’. And even as connected devices increase the range of viewing options, Australians of all ages still spend the majority of their screen time watching live broadcast television on in-home TV sets.”
Deborah Wright, regional TAM Chair, said: “The Multi Screen Report highlights the increased usage of the main television screen and adoption of new screen technologies, with growth year-on-year. Regional Australian households continue to enjoy the ‘live’ television experience and are delivering a strong result in comparison to the national average.”
Summary of key findings: Q2 (April – June 2014)):
- Australians watch on average 97 hours and 03 minutes (97:03) of broadcast TV on traditional television sets per month – up 26 minutes per month year-on-year (YOY).
- 91.8% of all broadcast TV viewing is Live, with Playback of broadcast content that viewers record and watch within seven days accounting for 8.2% (7:58 per month).
- 100% of Australian television homes can access digital terrestrial television (DTT) channels. 94% can do so on every working household TV set.
- 55% of homes have PVRs; 14% have two or more (Q2 2013: 54%; 14%).
- Household internet penetration is stable at 80%.
- Australians spend on average 39:27 per month online.
- 27% of homes have internet-capable TVs, whether connected or not (22% in Q2 2013).
- 42% of homes have tablets (33% in Q2 2013). Across the online population aged 16+, people claim to spend an average 1:47 per month using tablets to watch any online video – which can include both broadcast and non-broadcast material.
- 71% of Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone (65% in Q2 2013) and self-report an average 1:56 per month viewing any video on these devices (1:20 a year earlier).
- 13.516 million Australians watch some video on the Internet each month (including TV broadcast and non-broadcast content): an average of 8:08 per month. Such viewing is highest among people aged 18-24 (13:02).
- 89.1% of all video viewing – across all screens, and including broadcast and non-broadcast content – is on the traditional TV set:
- 97:03 per month on the TV set (89.1%)
- 8:08 per month online via PCs/laptops (7.5%)
- 1:56 per month on smartphones (1.8%)
- 1:47 per month on tablets (1.6%)