The growth of affordable broadband service has sent more Australians to the Internet to listen to their favorite radio stations and, increasingly, to watch TV. According to the annual Internet and Technology Report compiled by Nielsen Online, traditional radio consumption by Internet users declined by 1.1 hours in December 2008, while the total number of radio hours - broadcast and online - increased by nearly 2 hours amongst urban dwellers, thanks to faster connection speeds allowing more reliable streaming radio programs. Overall online radio consumption increased to 4.9 hours in 2008, up from 4.2 hours in 2007.
Online TV is also beginning to make its mark. Almost half of urban Internet users reported viewing TV content online or downloaded, with 12 percent saying they did so frequently.
"Radio has been highly successful at reinventing itself by embracing the online delivery channel. TV has a similar opportunity as more of the country has access to high speed connections," said Tony Marlow, Research Director, Nielsen Online.
While almost a quarter of Australian Internet users still have connection speeds lower than 1.5 mbps, 20 percent intend to upgrade their connections in 2009.
Marlow believes that the trends observed in metropolitan areas provide insight into anticipated trends in regional and rural areas where connection speeds have yet to catch up to their city counterparts. "If we look at Australia as a whole, we currently lag other developed nations in what we consider to be fast Internet connectivity," he concluded.
Read the full press release outlining online trends in Australia here.