Report: Live TV Remains Dominant in Australians’ Viewing Habits


SYDNEY: The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report, covering Q4 2014, finds that viewing of video content on internet-connected devices is up year-on-year, but remains small relative to the amount of time that Australians spend watching broadcast TV on in-home sets.

Household take-up of internet-capable devices reached a new high in Q4 2014, according to the report, issued by Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen. Internet-capable TVs have the fastest adoption rate, as 30 percent of homes now have a smart or hybrid TV. All Australian television homes can access digital terrestrial broadcast (DTT) channels on at least one household TV set, with 95 percent of TV homes able to access DTT channels on every working household set. Additionally, 56 percent of homes have a personal video recorder.

During the 2014 calendar year, Australians viewed an average of 3 hours and 6 minutes (3:06) of broadcast television per day, essentially on par with previous years. The vast majority of all TV viewing is live, with less than 10 percent viewed in playback mode. Looking at Q4 2014, Australians watched an average 90 hours and 27 minutes (90:27) of broadcast TV each month in the quarter. That compares to 92:39 in Q4 2013. Also in the quarter, 91.9 percent of TV viewing was live (83:06) and 8.1 percent (7:21) was watched in playback.

Television remains the primary household screen. Across all devices, and including broadcast and non-broadcast content, 88 percent of all video viewing took place on TV sets in Q4 2014. Broadcast TV viewing was stable year-on-year.

OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “The MultiScreen Report shows how life stage impacts media use across devices. Teens have always been the lightest TV viewers, and as people get older and have children they stay home more and watch more TV. Now, however, Australians of all ages are viewing more on second screens, and their overall use of the TV screen is growing, too. But people still turn to the main household TV first and will continue to do so. The death of TV will follow the death of the couch."

Deborah Wright, Regional TAM's chair and NBN Television's CEO, commented: “This issue of the MultiScreen Report highlights the continuing dominance of television as the primary screen in the household, and regional viewers are in fact consuming more TV on average per month when compared to 2013. This again showcases the strength of broadcast television and, in particular, regional television.”

Nielsen’s senior VP of cross platform audience measurement, Erica Boyd, said: “Australians have a large appetite for good content and TV sets continue to be the main place audiences go to satisfy this need, supplemented by content viewed on digital technologies. The latest MultiScreen Report shows TV viewing hours remain relatively stable compared with previous years, with traditional seasonality spikes and life stages continuing to influence consumers’ watching habits. While we’re seeing the increase in mobile devices resulting in increased viewing time on smaller screens, the majority of TV viewing still takes place on traditional sets.”