Media habits evolve in Australia

21 February 2012

SYDNEY: Australian consumers are accessing video content via an increasingly diverse range of devices, but gadgets such as smartphones and tablets seem to complementing, rather than replacing, television.

Nielsen, OzTAM and Regional TAM reported that 95% of households have at least one digital TV set, up from 90% in the first quarter of 2011. Some 70% receive digital stations on all of the sets they used.

During a typical month, the typical person watched 113 hours and 38 minutes of television, rising by six hours 31 minutes on an annual basis.

A further 44% of Australian households possessed PVRs or other time-shifting technology, and the average amount of time dedicated to playing back content has grown by four hours and 31 minutes, to 12 hours, since Q4 2010.

In all, 77% of homes are connected to the internet, and Australians normally spend 43 hours 54 minutes using this medium on a PC per month.

Watching any form of online video, from broadcast content to user-generated clips, contributed three hours and 27 minutes to this total.

Turning to mobile, the study suggested that 49% of Australians aged over 14 years old now own a smartphone. This total has grown from 35% at the start of 2011.

Smartphone subscribers spent 1 hour 20 minutes watching all forms of video through this route by the end of last year, measured against 35 minutes in the first quarter.

"Video usage on smartphones has seen strong increases but still trails traditional TV viewing by a long way," the study said. "Video usage on mobile phones is largely dictated by available services and associated service costs. Current estimates suggest this usage is relatively light but growing rapidly."

An estimated 10% of metropolitan households now own one or more tablets, with 5% of the online population viewing video content in this way by the close of last year, up from 2% at the end of 2010.

"New technology and devices are adding to, rather than replacing, Australians' TV viewing," said Matt Bruce, head of Nielsen's media industry practice group in Australia.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff