Crossing Over: In Australia More Devices Create More Viewing Time Opportunities

Crossing Over: In Australia More Devices Create More Viewing Time Opportunities


The average Australian household spreads their viewing time across 6.4 screens, up from 5.4 in 2012. These screens – most of which are Internet-capable – have given rise to cross-media consumption, creating unprecedented opportunities to view broadcast TV and other video.

Consumers are now in a position where they can shape their own content-discovery experience. As any connected screen can be used like a personal video recorder (PVR), more devices create more opportunities to view.

What used to be a schedule to watch programming now seems like little more than a suggestion, as viewers can choose to watch live linear programming, video on-demand, or through subscription services and apps, among other ways, to tune in.

The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report – from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, covering the fourth quarter of calendar 2015, has revealed approximately 2.31 million connected devices access catch up TV each week*.

That being said, broadcast television reach remains strong, with 87.4% of Australians watching broadcast television (free-to-air and subscription channels) on in-home TV sets each week.

As content and platform options continue to grow, the home TV set can be used for many purposes in addition to watching television.

Across the day, Australians spent an average of 30 hours and 38 minutes per month (30:38) on OTHER TV screen use in the latest quarter, with 13:34 of that in prime time.

Examples of other TV screen use includes: viewing TV network live streaming and catch up services; watching DVDs; playing back recorded broadcast material; Internet browsing; and streaming music.

Multi-screening, in the form of watching TV and accessing online content, continues to be a common pattern of behaviour among online Australians, one which media owners and brands must consider when designing marketing campaigns.

  • More than three-in-four (76%) online Australians multi-screen (watch TV and use the Internet simultaneously).
  • One-in-three (33%) now access content on two or more devices while watching TV (triple-screening).
  • Among younger online consumers, multi-screening has almost reached saturation point; nine-in-10 aged 16-34 multi-screen, unchanged from last year.
  • The 35-49 and 50-64 age groups both increased their multi-screen behaviour, mostly driven by triple-screening.

Deborah Wright, Chair of Regional TAM and Nine Entertainment Co Director of Regional Strategy, said: “With the greater choices available to consumers in both content and platforms, it is encouraging to see broadcast television continuing to deliver strong reach results to Australians via their in-home TV sets. In fact, our regional audiences spend almost 95 hours on average during a month watching broadcast television, which is 9.5 hours more per month than the national average.” 

OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “Many more screens, vastly greater content and platform choice, yet the same number of hours in the day: if anything’s surprising it’s how strong broadcast TV remains. Since 2012 the Australian Multi-Screen Report has tracked the impact of new technologies on viewing of TV and other video content. The interesting thing in the latest quarter is that 8-28 day playback viewing on TV sets, and VPM content played on connected devices, together add approximately 2.5 to 3 per cent of viewing on top of 7-day Consolidated broadcast viewing. While relatively small overall, for certain individual program episodes this longer-tail and VPM viewing can be significant.”

*Source: OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement service, which measures viewing of participating broadcasters’ Internet-delivered TV content.

Download the full report here

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; Nielsen Online Ratings and Nielsen’s Australian Connected Consumers report; and OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement (VPM) Report.