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Australians average 6.4 screens per home

The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report – from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, and covering the first quarter of calendar 2016 – continues its look at how audience behaviour is influenced by greater content and platform choice, and access to new consumer technologies.

Together these changes create unprecedented opportunities to view broadcast TV and other video and affect the time spent with various screens.

Ongoing trends include:

Australian households have more screens, the majority of which are Internet-capable
–  There are an average of 6.4 screens per home, up from 5.4 in Q1 2012.
–  Tablets have seen the most dramatic growth, while the number of TV sets has fallen slightly from 2.0 per household to 1.9 now.
–  As any connected screen can be used like a PVR, more devices create more opportunities to view.
–  OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement service, which measures viewing of participating broadcasters’ internet-delivered TV content, shows approximately 2.31 million connected devices access catch up TV each week.

More content choice and ways to get it mean Australians are spreading their screen activity
–  86.1 per cent of Australians watched broadcast TV (free-to-air and subscription channels) on in-home TV sets each week in Q1 2016 (88.1 per cent in Q1 2015).
–  Broadcast reach remains strong in all major age groups.
–  Content and platform options continue to grow, and the 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 such other TV screen use:
– viewing TV network live streaming and catch up services;
– watching DVDs;
– playing back recorded broadcast material outside the 28-day Consolidated viewing window;
– Internet browsing; streaming music; and accessing over-the-top Internet-delivered video services.

–  As the number of hours in the day remains constant, the net effect of greater choice and opportunity to view is Australians spend a little less time each day watching live TV or playing it back on their TV sets within seven days than they did a year ago.
–  Across all screens, devices and types of video however, 84.3 per cent of viewing is to TV content watched on in-home sets within seven days of original broadcast: on average 85:12 per month.
[refer graphic: Video viewing, average time spent per month]
–  Year-on-year, the share of time spent viewing any video content on computers, tablets or smartphones rose from 11.6 per cent to 15.7 per cent.
–  While people, particularly those aged 24 and under, increasingly use connected devices to watch TV and other video, broadcast TV viewed on TV sets accounts for the largest proportion of viewing time on any single device.

‘Longer-tail’ viewing is becoming significant and is one of the factors impacting the decline in time spent viewing live broadcast TV content, particularly in prime time
–  1.6 per cent of all broadcast TV watched on in-home TV sets in any four-week period is time-shifted (played back) between eight and 28 days of the original broadcast. In prime time the proportion of 8-28 day playback rises to 2.1 per cent.
–  VPM material accounts for around 1 per cent of all broadcast content viewed each month.
–  Together, 8-28 day time-shifted viewing on in-home TV sets and VPM viewing on connected devices now account for 2.5 to 3 per cent of monthly broadcast content watched.
–  This ‘longer tail’ viewing is on top of broadcast TV watched live or played back within seven days. 8-28 day viewing and VPM viewing do not feature in the time spent viewing figures throughout much of the Multi-Screen Report.

Online Australians maintain a high level of multi-screening
–  Simultaneous screen use is stabilising among younger consumers but continues to rise among certain older segments.
–  76 per cent of online Australians claim to multi-screen (watch TV and use the internet simultaneously).
–  33 per cent now say they access content on two or more devices while watching TV (i.e., triple-screening).
–  Nine in 10 online consumers aged 16-34 say they multi-screen, little changed on the previous year, with people 65+’s multi-screening also largely stable.
–  The 35–49 and 50–64 year-old segments both increased their multi-screen behaviour, with the bulk of growth in triple-screening.
[refer graphic:  Device used most often]

Popular activities on connected devices vary
–  The most common activities on desktop and laptop computers are email, search and banking.
–  Key activities on tablets are similar to computers, with search, email and news the most common.
–  The top smartphone activities are related to getting information outside the home, such as accessing maps and directions, checking the weather, and other small or frequent tasks.
–  Checking social media is more prominent on both smartphones and tablets than computers.
–  Watching online video is more popular on computers and tablets due to larger screen sizes (people’s tenth most common activity on computers, eighth on tablets).
–  Among specific age groups 18+, 18-24s are most likely to watch online video on a computer (their third most common activity on that device), tablet (second most common) or smartphone (tenth).
–  For 25-34s, watching online video on a tablet is third, on a computer sixth, and smartphone tenth.
–  Among 35-49s watching online video is fourth on a tablet, tenth on a computer and outside the top ten on smartphones.
–  People aged 50+ say watching online video is outside their top ten most popular activities on all three devices.

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