Australia: TV still centrepiece for content

In Q3 2014, Australians across the population watched 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 YOY.

This equates to a little more than 3 hours per Australian per day on in-home TV sets, consistent with average daily time spent viewing over much of the past decade, according to Fearnace Media’s Australian Multi Screen 2014 report.

91.6 per cent of all in-home TV viewing in Q3 2014 was live – that is, viewed at the time the broadcast actually went to air. 8.4 per cent 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 YOY: by 9 minutes, and 58 minutes, per month, respectively.

Broadcast TV viewing levels are supported by new technologies that give people greater flexibility and capacity to view live and playback broadcast TV content. For example:
– 55 per cent of homes have a recording device such as a PVR or DVR, and 15 per cent have two or more
– Every Australian TV home can receive digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasts, and 95 per cent can receive DTT channels on every working household TV set, greatly expanding channel choice

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.”

Other key finding from the report include:
– Household internet penetration has been steady for the past six quarters, at 80 per cent.
– The progressive take-up of internet-capable devices – including televisions, tablets, smartphones and in-home computers – is creating further opportunities to watch broadcast TV and other video content.
– Viewing on mobile devices however remains small compared to that on traditional television sets, reflecting people’s preference to watch on the biggest available screen.
– In Q3 2014 Australians aged 2+ spent an average 37 hours and 44 minutes (37:44) online each month on home and work computers. They devoted 7:30 to watching any online video on PC or laptop computers (including broadcast TV content and other video), compared to 5:18 in Q3 2013.
– 45 per cent of homes have tablets, up from 42 per cent in Q2 2014 and 37 per cent a year ago. Across the Australian online population aged 16+ people claim to spend 1:47 per month watching any online video on a tablet (Q4 2013).
– Across the Australian online population aged 16+ people report spending 1:56 per month watching any online video on a smartphone (Q4 2013).
– 29 per cent of homes have internet-capable televisions (i.e., ‘hybrid’ or ‘smart’ TVs – whether actually connected or not), compared to 22 per cent a year ago.

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