SYDNEY: Australians spend more time using the internet than watching television, but much of that is work- or study-related, meaning that TV is top for entertainment.

A new study by Roy Morgan Research found the average Australian watched just over 18 hours (1,095 minutes) of TV a week and used the internet for more than 19 hours (1,159 minutes) – but almost a third of that internet time (361 minutes) was spent online at work, school or elsewhere.

When it comes to entertainment at home, TV remains by far the most time-consuming media, the research said.

Michele Levine, Roy Morgan CEO, noted that the thing about "television is that it's not a zero-sum game: extra internet time at home doesn't have to mean less TV".

Four in ten Australians, for example, regularly surf the internet while watching TV – a figure that rises to two thirds of 14-34 year olds.

"Naturally, multi-screening viewers spend more time than average using the internet at home—but across each age group they also watch around an hour and a half more TV during the week," she said.

Almost as many (37%) preferred to shut themselves off from the rest of the world when at home and focus on single-screening.

While it may be true, as Levine claimed, that "television networks and their advertisers continue to have the widest reach among Australians in the home", they may not have viewers' undivided attention.

A research initiative by Think TV – Smart Lab – exploring the use of artificial intelligence to measure TV effectiveness could lead to a new ad pricing model based on attention levels, according to the project's head.

"I'm excited to see what types of content are effective, whether its premium or non-premium, live content," Dr Karen Nelson-Field told Ad News. "For example, if a football match is close, is that more engaging or not to viewers when they look at branding?"

Ultimately, she suggested, such data could be built back into dynamic pricing. "It could change the way we buy. Eventually TV will be very programmatically gifted and this could change the currency," she said

Data sourced from Roy Morgan, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff