Advanced Television

Australia: TV accounts for 86.5% of all viewing

December 14, 2016

The Q3 2016 Australian Multi-Screen Report – from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen – shows Australian homes have more screens, channel and platform choices than ever before.

These choices deliver greater opportunities to watch television and other video, and together affect the time consumers spend with various devices: people continue to spread their viewing across seemingly infinite options within a finite number of available hours each day.

Ongoing trends include

Traditional’ television viewing remains dominant.

o   20.19 million Australians, or 86 per cent of the population in people metered markets, watch at least some broadcast TV (free-to-air and subscription channels) on in-home sets weekly.

o   Reach remains strong among all age groups.

o   Across the population – taking into account all screens, all devices and all types of video, broadcast TV content watched on in-home TV sets comprises 86.5 per cent of viewing.

o   Looking only at actual viewers or users in the respective TV and online universes, TV accounts for 82.6 per cent of viewing.

o   The gradual decline in time spent viewing live and playback TV over the past five years follows the spreading behaviour that screen, content and platform choice enable.

Even so, all age groups spend more of their video viewing time watching broadcast TV on in-home TV sets than they do on any other single device.

The number of connected screens in households continues to rise while the number of TV sets has fallen slightly.

o   The average Australian home now has 4.5 connected screens in addition to their TV sets, up from 3.9 four years ago. The number of TV sets per home is fractionally lower today however, at 1.8.

The way Australians use their TV sets is changing, most noticeably in prime time.

o   More screens create different options to view, meaning people spend a little less time with their TV sets.

o   The TV screen can also be used for many activities in addition to watching TV, therefore the proportion of time people spend using their TV sets for other purposes is growing.

o   The rise in other TV screen use is particularly evident in peak viewing hours, and it is impacting time spent viewing live and playback TV.

‘Longer tail’ viewing is growing. 

o   While the majority of TV material played back through the TV set happens within the first seven days, 1.7 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 the proportion of 8-28 day playback is 1.6 per cent.

o   OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement (VPM) service shows approximately 1 per cent of all broadcast TV viewing takes place on connected devices.

o   Together, 8-28 day playback on TV sets and VPM content played on connected devices account for approximately 2.5 to 3 per cent of all broadcast TV content watched.  This viewing is on top of OzTAM and Regional TAM Consolidated 7 viewing data.

Regional TAM Chairman and General Manager, Prime Television, Tony Hogarth said: “The Australian Multi-Screen Report once again provides a comprehensive national overview of Australians’ viewing habits. Analysing television viewing based on ‘when watched’ data has allowed for this viewing to be accounted for at the time of day the TV content is being consumed as opposed to the time of broadcast. In regional Australia, looking at when watched viewing, audiences consumed an average of 103 hours and 45 minutes of broadcast television each month, which is just over 8 hours more than the national average.”

Craig Johnson, Managing Director, Media, Asia Pacific, Nielsen added: “Today consumers have more control than ever before and are without a doubt leveraging that autonomy. The growing penetration of connected devices and increasing popularity of subscription-based streaming services, time-shifted and over-the-top viewing is fundamentally changing the TV industry. The ability to measure and report on all content across all devices – such as expanding the ‘long tail’ out to 28 days – provides the industry with further, critical insights on how viewers are using technology to control their own viewing experiences.”

OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer concluded: “The number of connected screens in Australian homes is at an all-time high, and Australians are taking advantage of the opportunities this creates to watch broadcast content and other video. While this choice contributes to the viewing ‘spread’ we’ve observed for some time, all age groups still spend more of their viewing time on any single device watching broadcast TV on in-home TV sets. Across the population that equates to more than 86 per cent of total viewing – including all devices, platforms and video content.”


o   Penetration levels for various device types are levelling off even as the number of screens in homes continues to grow. This is because people often upgrade a tablet or mobile phone and retain the older one for secondary use.

o   60 per cent of homes have PVRs; 17 per cent have two or more (Q3 2015: 57 per cent; 16 per cent).

o   37 per cent of homes have internet-capable TVs, whether connected or not (Q3 2015: 31 per cent).

o   49 per cent of homes have tablets (49 per cent in Q3 2015)

o  84 per cent of Australians aged 14+ own a smartphone (80 per cent in Q3 2015).

o   100 per cent of Australian television homes can access DTT channels.

o   97 per cent can do so on every household TV set.

o   96 per cent can receive HD DTT broadcasts on all TV sets in the home.

o   Household internet penetration is stable at 80 per cent.

o   Australians spend 90 hours and 16 minutes (90:16) per month watching broadcast TV on in-home TV sets:

o   90.1 per cent (81:21) is watched live-to-air each month.

o   8.2 per cent (7:22) is played back through the TV set within seven days.

o   1.7 per cent (1:33) is played back through the TV set between eight and 28 days of the original broadcast.

o   Active online Australians spend on average 62:28 per month online.

O   13.9 million Australians watch some video on the internet each month (including broadcast TV and non-broadcast content): on average 12:46 per viewer per month. Such viewing is highest among 18-24s (20:03 per month).


Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Connected TV, Consumer Behaviour, FTA, Markets, OTT, Pay TV, Portable Media, Research, VOD