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The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report – from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, and covering Q2 (April-June) 2016 – continues to explore the impact of digital technologies, new channel and platform choices, and take-up of connected devices on audience behaviour.
Most households now own numerous screens, the majority Internet-capable and many portable, leading people to spread their screen time across multiple options.
With the number of hours in the day fixed however, evolving viewing patterns reflect the collective influence of platform and device choice, rather than one activity replacing another.
This is evident in the times of day at which Australians most often use their TV sets and other connected devices to watch catch up broadcast TV content – notably in the evenings, when people generally have the most time and opportunity to view.
Ongoing trends include:
Even with extensive device, channel and platform choices, across the population as a whole the greatest share of viewing happens on TV sets: each week on average 88.1 per cent of Australians (20.67 million people) watch at least some broadcast TV on in-home sets (free-to-air and/or subscription channels).
Reach remains strong among all major age groups: for example, 72.3 per cent of 16-24 year-olds, traditionally among the lightest TV viewers, watch weekly.
People can use their TV sets for many things in addition to watching live broadcast television, thanks to take-up of internet-capable TVs and/or devices attached to the TV. This functionality enables other TV screen use (using the TV set for any purpose other than watching live or playing back broadcast TV content within 28 days), and is an example of how screen activity is spreading, thereby affecting the time people spend with different devices and the activities they undertake on them, too.
Meanwhile ‘longer tail’ playback viewing continues to grow: 1.8 per cent of all broadcast TV watched on in-home sets in any four-week period is time-shifted between eight and 28 days later. In prime time that proportion is 1.7 per cent.
The chart below shows that ‘other TV screen use’ and 8-28 day playback viewing combined now account for 14 hours per month per Australian in prime time. The growth in such activity contributes to the gradual decline seen in live TV viewing and playback within seven days over the past several years.
TOTAL USE OF THE TELEVISION SET
Using OzTAM Video Player Measurement (VPM) Report data to create ‘shape of day’ graphs, we can compare the peaks and troughs when people view broadcast TV material on television sets and connected devices. Some patterns are evident:
For example, the following graph shows broadcast TV viewing across TVs and connected devices, along with other TV screen use, on Sunday. However, viewing on connected devices, along with other TV screen use described above, has impacted the time people spend viewing live and playback TV on TV sets – particularly in the evenings.
Overall, the majority of VPM catch up viewing occurs on tablets, followed by desktop/ laptops and then smartphones:
Percentage of VPM catch up viewing on connected devices
Looking across all screens, devices and any type of video across the population as a whole: 86.4 per cent of viewing (90:01)∧ is TV content watched on in-home sets within 28 days of original broadcast. Connected devices account for 13.6 per cent.
Looking only at people who view video on PCs and laptops; active online users who claim to watch video on tablets or smartphones; and taking only viewers within OzTAM and Regional TAM markets into account: 82.5 per cent of viewing happens on in-home TV sets, with 17.5 per cent on connected devices.
For all major age groups however the largest proportion of viewing time on any single device is to broadcast TV viewed on in-home sets.
“There’s no denying that technology continues to transform the video experience with each passing day. With more and more devices in use within our homes, household viewing habits are evolving and expanding, offering more media touch points than ever before,” said Craig Johnson, Managing Director, Media, Nielsen.
OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “The latest Multi-Screen Report shows people using their various screens to catch up with TV content at all times of the day. This ability to move from one screen to the next and back again keeps people close to their favourite TV content. While viewing on connected devices is currently a small proportion of overall viewing, this behaviour is gaining momentum and broadcasters are smart to make their content available across all screens.”
Regional TAM Chairman and General Manager, Prime Television, Tony Hogarth said: “Regional Australians continue to watch free-to-air broadcast television on the main screen and predominately consume the content live. Broadcast television continues to deliver strong reach and in Regional TAM markets our viewers spent on average just over 100 hours per month watching television, that is almost six hours more per month compared to the national average.”
ADDITIONAL FINDINGS: Q2 (APRIL – JUNE) 2016:
o The number of screens in homes continues to grow even as penetration levels for various device types plateau. This is because people often upgrade a tablet or mobile phone and retain the older one for secondary use.
o 59 per cent of homes have PVRs; 17 per cent have two or more (Q2 2015: 57 per cent; 16 per cent).
o 36 per cent of homes have internet-capable TVs, whether connected or not (Q2 2015: 30 per cent).
o 49 per cent of homes have tablets (47 per cent in Q2 2015).
o 81 per cent of Australians aged 14+ own a smartphone (79 per cent in Q2 2015)
Explanatory Notes in the Q2 2016 Multi-Screen Report for details.
o 100 per cent of Australian television homes can access digital terrestrial television (DTT) channels.
o 97 per cent can do so on every household TV set.
o 96 per cent can receive high definition (HD) DTT broadcasts on all TV sets in the home.
o Household internet penetration is stable at 81 per cent.
o Active online Australians spend on average 54:44 per month online2.
O 14.0 million Australians watch some video on the internet each month (incl broadcast TV and non-broadcast content): on average 12:48 per viewer per month. Such viewing is highest among 18-24s (21:52 per month)