SYDNEY: Most Australian households now own numerous screens, with most of them internet-connected, but the great majority of viewing continues to happen on traditional TV sets, a new report has shown.

The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report, which analyses audience ratings and viewing data from OzTAM, Nielsen and Regional TAM, revealed that the proportion of internet-capable TV sets in Australian households increased to 36% in Q2 2016.

This compared with 30% in the same period last year, suggesting that more Australians are gradually using their TV sets for activities other than just watching live broadcast television.

Meanwhile, the uptake of smart devices continues to be high with 81% of Australians aged 14+ owning a smartphone, while 59% of households have PVRs and 49% have tablets.

But despite the steady increase of other device adoption and the growing popularity of multi-screen viewing, the TV set continues to reach 88.1% of Australians each week.

Audience reach also remains strong across all major age groups, the report said, and that includes nearly three-quarters (72.3%) of 16- to 24-year-olds.

Furthermore, the TV set accounts for 86.4% of total screen-viewing time compared with 13.6% of viewing time on connected devices – PC/laptop (7.3%), smartphone (3.7%) and tablet (2.6%).

The report made clear that watching live TV remains the dominant viewing activity in volume terms, but also noted that "other TV screen use", coupled with playback viewing from eight to 28 days, is growing in popularity.

These activities combined now account for 14 months per month per viewer in prime time and this growth is contributing to the gradual decline of live TV viewing and playback within seven days.

Doug Peiffer, CEO of OzTAM, said it was therefore increasingly important for broadcasters and marketers to adopt a multi-screen strategy.

"The latest Multi-Screen Report shows people using their various screens to catch up with TV content at all times of the day. This ability to move from one screen to the next and back again keeps people close to their favourite TV content," he said.

"While viewing on connected devices is currently a small proportion of overall viewing, this behaviour is gaining momentum and broadcasters are smart to make their content available across all screens."

Data sourced from OzTAM, Nielsen, Regional TAM; additional content by Warc staff