SYDNEY: Consumers in Australia are engaging in an increasingly diverse range of new media activities, ranging from surfing the web on mobile phones to making purchases through tablets.

Sensis, the marketing solutions firm, surveyed 1,000 people, and as a result estimated that 87% of homes in the country are connected to the web, and 91% of people had gone online during the last 12 months.

In all, 88% of the internet population had looked for information regarding goods and services in this period, a figure standing at 74% when it came to actually ordering said products.

Exactly 66% of the same group utilised social networks, 53% streamed video content, 48% read blogs and 15% made purchases using digital coupons or group buying services such as Groupon.

Elsewhere, 44% of households now possess at least one smartphone, and 17% expect to acquire such a device during the coming year. These figures stood at 12% and 15% respectively regarding tablets.

To date, 50% of mobile subscribers had accessed the internet using a handset, an increase from 41% in 2010 and from 26% in 2009, indicating the rapid growth enjoyed by this medium.

Widespread activities among this audience included looking for maps and directions on 74%, browsing information about the weather on 69% and keeping up with the news on 68%.

Tracking down details about products scored 67% on this metric, exactly the same rating as registered by social networking. Downloading applications logged 57%, but scanning QR codes logged a modest 4%.

"A range of digital activities have hit mainstream levels in Australia, with strong usage now seen beyond the youth market," said Christena Singh, who wrote the report.

"Interestingly, mobile web has transformed beyond a transit medium, with Australians now logging on at home or at work, where they are also likely to have access to a computer."

Meanwhile, the study also reported that 12% of mobile media users had made acquisitions using their phone, and 6% engaged in the same pastime through a tablet such as the iPad.

Data sourced from Sensis; additional content by Warc staff