TV Remains Household Main Screen: Take up of Internet-Capable Devices Reaches New High

TV Remains Household Main Screen: Take up of Internet-Capable Devices Reaches New High

Household take-up of internet-capable devices reached a new high in Q4 2014 according to the latest Australian Multi-Screen Report. Internet-capable TVs have the fastest adoption rate: 30% of homes now have a ‘smart’ or ‘hybrid’ TV – whether actually connected to the internet or not (compared to 23% a year ago).
Viewing of video content on internet-connected mobile devices has grown year-on-year though it remains small relative to the time Australians spend watching broadcast television on in-home TV sets.


  • Throughout 2014 Australians viewed an average of 3 hours and 6 minutes (3:06) of broadcast television per day, similar to levels in previous years. This includes free-to-air and subscription channels, both live and playback.
  • The vast majority of all TV viewing is live, with less than 10% viewed in playback mode. Reflecting the take-up of PVRs, all age groups have increased their playback viewing in each of the past four calendar years.
  • As seen in earlier editions of the Multi-Screen Report, younger audiences watch more video on connected mobile devices than older age groups do, though people of all ages spend the majority of their viewing time watching broadcast TV on in-home TV sets.
  • Australians aged 2 and over spent 7 hours and 28 minutes (7:28) per month in the quarter viewing online video on a PC or laptop. In total they spent 37:08 online each month on work and home computers.
  • Across the Australian online population aged 16 and above, people claim to spend 2:03 watching any online video on a tablet each month, up from 1:47 per month in Q4 2013.
  • Australians aged 16+ reported spending 2:47 watching any online video on a smartphone in the quarter, compared to 1:56 a year earlier.

OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “The Multi-Screen 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.”

Nielsen’s Senior Vice President, 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 Multi-Screen 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.”

Summary of key findings: Q4 (October – December) 2014

  • Australians watch on average 90 hours and 27 minutes (90:27) of broadcast TV on traditional television sets per month (year-on-year down 2:12 per month, or 86 seconds per day).
  • 91.9% of all broadcast TV viewing is live (83:06) with playback of broadcast content that viewers record and play back through their TV sets within seven days accounting for 8.1% (7:21 per month, up 34 minutes/month YOY).
  • Household Internet penetration is stable at 80% and Australians spend on average 37:08 per month online. 
  • 30% of homes have Internet-capable TVs, whether connected or not (Q4 2013: 23%).
  • 47% of homes have tablets (40% in Q4 2013) 
  • 73% of Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone (68% in Q4 2013) and self-report an average 2:47 per month viewing any video on these devices (1:56 a year ago).
  • 13.288 million Australians watch some video on the Internet each month (including broadcast TV and non-broadcast content): an average of 7:28 per month.

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.