SYDNEY: Australian homes now have more screens than ever before – 6.4 on average with most of these internet-capable – and as a consequence people are consuming more video content, a new study says, but TV remains the most popular .

The Q4 2016 Australian Multi-Screen Report, compiled by measurement bodies Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, found that, on average, Australians watched 2 hours and 39 minutes of broadcast TV each day and were spreading their viewing across multiple devices.

Across all screens, devices and types of video among the population, 86.6% of viewing was of broadcast TV content watched on in-home sets within 28 days of original transmission. A further 7.8% of viewing was on PCs or laptops, with 2.9% on smartphones and 2.7% on tablets.

Some 89.6% of broadcast TV (both free-to-air and subscription channels) was watched live-to-air each month, with 8.4% being played back through the TV set within seven days and a further 1.9% time-shifted between eight and 28 days of the original broadcast.

A shift away from watching live TV was evident across all age groups, Media Week noted, with the amount of time spent on this activity during the past year falling most among 18-24 year olds (-15%) and 25-34 year olds (-15%), closely followed by children (-14%), then teens (-10%), 35-49 year olds (-9%), and 50-64 year olds (-2%).

While TV remains by far the most popular screen, the study noted that 28% of the time people were spending with their TV sets was devoted to an activity other than watching live TV or time-shifted TV content up to 28 days after broadcast.

That could include gaming, browsing the internet and watching video content on digital platforms or OTT services as well as DVDs.

"Overall Australians are consuming more media content than ever," noted Craig Johnson, Managing Director, Media, Nielsen."However, digging beneath the bonnet reveals that fragmentation of channels and devices is growing the 'long tail', meaning Australian audiences are increasingly taking control of their TV viewing, watching video content wherever and whenever they want, and on the device or screen of their choice."

Data sourced from Regional TAM, OzTAM, Nielsen, Media Week; additional content by WARC staff