Media habits change in Australia

26 October 2011

SYDNEY: Media habits are evolving rapidly in Australia, as consumers attempt to find the right balance between traditional and digital channels.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority and GfK Bluemoon surveyed 1,250 adults, and found that 64% had watched linear, free-to-air television in the week before the study.

A 52% share had listened to broadcast radio in this period, while 49% visited the website of a news organisation, 48% logged on to social networks and 31% streamed video from sites like YouTube.

Furthermore, 22% of the sample had watched video through social networks like Facebook and 20% kept up with the latest news in such a way. This came in front of the 15% using video-on-demand (VOD) services to enjoy TV content.

Usage levels of sites like Facebook and Twitter peaked at 71% for 18-29 year olds, who also posted the best scores for playing internet video, reading news on social networks and utilising VOD platforms.

YouTube dominated the video category overall, attracting 96% of people playing back this kind of online content, ahead of iTunes on 13% and Netflix and Hulu, both on 1%.

A 55% majority of the YouTube audience mainly streamed user-generated material, versus 19% typically viewing professionally-produced shows, and 27% balancing the two.

Elsewhere, the report revealed 45% of consumers thought there were "too many advertising breaks" on TV, rising to 47% for male contributors. Only 8% of respondents said the same for the internet.

More broadly, 27% of Australians were found to consume numerous traditional and new media channels, were "very positive" concerning their experience with digital media, but also "cautious" about the information they posted on the web.

Another 10% now access "most information online", including social networks, user-generated and on-demand material, and reported having "very positive" experiences with this medium.

By contrast, 24% of the panel got a majority of their information from traditional media and used the web in a "limited way". An additional 16% felt "slightly overwhelmed" by the available choice, went online for "some things", and avoided social networks.

"Australians have a high awareness of the ongoing changes in media and communications and regard the developments positively," said Chris Chapman, chairman of the ACMA.

"While traditional media ... are still dominant for most, the internet is expanding the media experience for Australians."

Data sourced from Australian Communications and Media Authority/B&T; additional content by Warc staff