Australians spend more time online than working

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In mid-2018 there are now 20.2 million Australians aged 14+, who each had 8,760 hours to spend over the last 12 months equalling a total of 177 billion hours in the year to March 2018. Roy Morgan’s Single Source research of employment and time spent with media breaks down how Australia spends its time between working and interacting with the various types of media.

In the past year, Australians spent more time on the Internet than working. Australians spent just over 21.9 billion hours on the Internet in one form or another – whether at home, at school, while at work or elsewhere compared to 20.5 billion hours on the job. Of course these are not mutually exclusive, some 4.6 billion of those hours online occurred at work – whether work related or not.

Analysing time on the Internet more closely shows that 5.9 billion hours was spent using social media on the Internet while the balance of just under 16 billion hours was spent using the Internet for other purposes. A further 18.6 billion hours were spent watching TV and 14.6 billion hours spent listening to radio

Of course Australians don’t all spend more time online than working or even watching TV. In a normal week 95 per cent of Australians go online (and so average 1,144 hours online over the full year) while 60 per cent of us have jobs (averaging 1,647 hours per employee).

The 92 per cent of Australians watching TV in a given week average 1,004 hours each of TV viewing over the full year while the 85 per cent of us that listen to radio during the week listen to an average of 851 hours per year of radio.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the rise of the Internet continues in 2018 with Australians now spending more time online than they do working. She commented: “Australia’s population is set to surpass 25 million next month less than 15 years after hitting the 20 million mark in December 2003 and there are now well over 20 million Australians aged 14+ and entering adulthood. But how do they spend their time? To no one’s surprise the rise of the Internet has continued over the last 18 months with more hours now spent by Australians using the Internet – an estimated 21.9 billion hours by Australians aged 14+ in the year to March 2018 – up 2.1 billion hours since September 2016.

“Although other media have experienced small declines in total hours spent since late 2016, its worth realising that we still spend over 10 per cent of our time watching TV (18.6 billion hours) and over 8 per cent of our time listening to radio (14.6 billion hours).When one considers an estimated third of our day is spent sleeping (8 hours), around three-quarters of our time is spent either working, consuming media, or fast asleep,” she added.


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