The time Australians spent watching TV on conventional in-home TV sets rose by more than an hour per month year-on-year, according to the latest Australian Multi-Screen Report, which covers the third quarter of calendar 2014.
Despite household take-up of Internet-connected devices reaching a new high; TV screens still rule the roost with Aussies watching an average of 96 hours and 58 minutes (96:58) per month of broadcast television (including free-to-air and subscription channels) on their in-home TV sets – up 1 hour and 7 minutes (1:07) per month versus a year ago.
Most (91.6%) in-home TV viewing in Q3 2014 was live – that is, viewed at the time the broadcast actually went to air. 8.4% was watched in playback, meaning viewers recorded the material using a device such as a PVR or DVR and played it back through their TV sets within seven days of original broadcast time. Both live viewing and playback viewing rose year-on-year: by 9 minutes, and 58 minutes, per month, respectively.
OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “For all the changes and new options viewers have, television is still the centrepiece. Live TV viewing is level year-on-year, playback is up by nearly an hour, and people are spending more time with their television sets overall, because TVs are more versatile than ever. On top of their TV viewing time, Australians increasingly use their televisions to play games, watch DVDs or Internet-delivered video, browse the Internet, or playback TV content they’ve recorded beyond seven days from original broadcast. Such activities underscore the strength of TV and reinforce its position as the household main screen.”
Nielsen’s Senior Vice President, Cross Platform Audience Measurement, Erica Boyd said: “As people increase their overall time consuming content across screens, marketers have more opportunities to seamlessly connect with people in a way that is respectful of their time, relevant and interesting.”

Snapshot of TV viewing and technology penetration in Australian homes

  • Australians watch on average 96 hours and 58 minutes (96:58) of broadcast TV on traditional television sets per month – up 1:07 per month year-on-year (YOY). 
  • 91.6% of all broadcast TV viewing is live, with playback of broadcast content that viewers record and play back through their TV sets within seven days accounting for 8.4% (8:08 per month, up 58 minutes/month year-on-year).
  • Household Internet penetration is stable at 80% and Australians spend on average 37:44 per month online. 
  • 29% of homes have Internet-capable TVs, whether connected or not (Q3 2013: 22%).
  • 45% of homes have tablets (37% in Q3 2013) and 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 television and non-broadcast material.
  • 74% of Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone (67% in Q3 2013) and self-report an average 1:56 per month viewing any video on these devices.
  • 13.377 million Australians watch some video on the Internet each month (including broadcast TV and non-broadcast content): an average of 7:30 per month.

Home is where the Wi-Fi is: Special study on homes with internet-connected mobile devices

To understand how internet-connected mobile device users (tablet and smartphone users in particular) use and share those devices with other household members, a special study was conducted in September, 2014.

The findings of this special study of people living in mobile internet-connected device households are consistent with research presented in earlier editions of the Australian Multi-Screen Report.

While audiences increasingly watch video content on mobile screens, such viewing is not the primary activity for which people use their Internet-connected mobile devices. Moreover, younger people are more likely to view any video on tablets and smartphones than are older age groups.

  • Smartphones are the most common Internet-connected mobile devices in study participants’ homes (91%), followed by tablets (60%), iPods (22%) and Kindles/e-readers (20%).
  • Larger households, and those with kids and teens, are more likely to have a greater number of internet-connected mobile devices.
  • Tablets are more likely to be shared than smartphones: across all study participants, 54% share their tablets versus 38% for smartphones.
  • People in larger households are more likely to share tablets and smartphones with other household members – particularly those homes with children under age 18.
  • The top activities among people aged 14+ are similar across tablets and smartphones: email; accessing search engines; social networking; getting news and information; accessing maps or navigation information; and video/entertainment.
  • Accessing TV networks’ catch-up TV websites and apps is more common on tablets than on smartphones – both via websites and apps.

Click here to download the full report

About The Australian Multi-Screen Report
The Australian Multi-Screen Report, released quarterly, is the first and only national research into trends in video viewing in Australian homes across television, computers and mobile devices. It combines data from the three best available research sources: the OzTAM and Regional TAM television ratings panels and Nielsen’s national NetView panel, Consumer & Media View database and Australian Connected Consumers Report.