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Tablet viewing passes PC in Australia

News, 01 December 2015

SYDNEY: Australians now spend more time browsing content or interacting with apps on a tablet device than on a personal computer, new data has revealed, but smartphones remain king in the market.

The September edition of the IAB Australia and Nielsen Mobile Ratings Report shows that the average Australian spends 25 hours and 59 minutes on their tablet device each month, compared to 25 hours and 25 minutes for standard desktop devices.

This is the first survey where tablet usage has overtaken personal computers, cementing Australia's move toward mobile-based connectivity.

More than 15m Australians now own a smartphone and approximately 11m own an internet-capable tablet device.

Smartphones remain the preferred device of Australians, with average time spent monthly clocking in at just under 35 hours per person. According to the data, Australian smartphone users over the age of 18 average 199 sessions per month – more than four times the engagement rate of those using PCs.

More than 8.6m Australians also watch video on their smartphone each month, but the content is largely 'snackable' and totals an average one hour of engagement per person. Tablet uptake is lower at around 4.8m users monthly, but the data reveals that people watching video on tablet devices are engaged for a much longer period of time – an estimated two hours each month.

The increasing popularity of video on tablet devices reflects the uptake of video streaming services such as Netflix and online 'çatch-up' services by Australian TV networks. YouTube leads video streaming, with subscriber service Netflix on top for video-on-demand and Yahoo7 TV (PLUS7) leading the catch-up services on mobile devices.

The proportion of Aussies using legal pay-per-view and streaming services has risen to 59% compared to 46% in 2014. Mashable reported that piracy rates in Australia have dropped 6% in the last year, as legal video services become more available; 17% said they were regular pirates, down from 23% in 2014.

Data sourced from IAB Australia, Mashable; additional content by Warc staff