Evolution of the Box: TV remains main screen as viewing habits continue to shift

Evolution of the Box: TV remains main screen as viewing habits continue to shift

The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report – from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, and covering the first quarter of calendar 2015 – has revealed that television remains the most dominant viewing screen, despite consumers’ growing fondness for multiple device ownership.
In Q1 2015, 22.2 million Australians watched broadcast television each month during Q1 2015. Across all age groups, 88.4% of all viewing takes place on the TV set. Overall, we watched an average of 89 hours and 28 minutes (89:28) of broadcast television – free-to-air and subscription channels – on in-home TV sets each month (down from 93:16 in Q1 2014).


While TV remains the king of screens, the way we are viewing it continues to evolve. The proportion of time spent viewing live TV has dropped gradually over the past five years, while playback viewing through the TV set within seven days of original broadcast continues to rise.

Meanwhile, the increasing take up of internet-capable or ‘smart’ TVs – now in nearly one third of homes – along with growth in viewing of TV content between 8 and 28 days from original (live) broadcast, has boosted the proportion of time people spend on activities other than watching broadcast television.

We are also seeing viewing behaviour shift across age groups. For example, while people aged over 50 watch the most TV on TV sets, the time they spend watching any video on connected devices is increasing. And Australians under the age of 24 spend more than 50% of their total viewing time watching broadcast television on TV sets even though they are the heaviest viewers of video on connected devices.

OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer said: “Australians now have a remarkable range of options for watching their favourite television programs. Overall, nine in 10 people watch broadcast TV each week, averaging nearly three hours of ‘traditional’ TV viewing per day across the population. We continue to see Australians spend a little less time at the ‘full buffet’ of live linear television and a little more time viewing ‘a la carte’, watching their favourite TV shows when they want. Also, there is an increase in time shift viewing beyond seven days, as reported in this quarter. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this evolving behaviour.”

Craig Johnson, Head of Nielsen’s Reach Solutions, Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific said: “People are continuing to evolve the way they consume media and are leveraging technology more, and, in increasingly varied ways. The TV screen remains the core of this consumption and a key vehicle for advertisers to reach consumers. Playback continues to grow as does delayed viewing with an increase in 8-28 days, showing that people are more prepared than ever to watch content at their own convenience.”

Summary of key findings: Q1 (January – March) 2015

  • Australians watch on average 89 hours and 28 minutes (89:28) of broadcast TV on traditional television sets per month (year-on-year down 3:48 per month).
  • 91.6% of all broadcast TV viewing is live (81:57) with playback of broadcast content through the TV set within seven days of original broadcast comprising 8.4% (7:31 per month, up 16 minutes/month YOY).
  • 22.158 million Australians watch broadcast television each month, with average weekly reach at 88-89% of the population.
  • 30% of homes have internet-capable TVs, whether connected or not (Q1 2014: 27%).
  • 47% of homes have tablets (level with Q4 2014, and up from 42% in Q1 2014).
  • 77% of Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone (69% in Q1 2014).
  • Australians spend on average 35:51 per month online (38:41 in Q1 2014).
  • 13.343 million Australians watch some video on the internet each month (including broadcast TV and non-broadcast content): an average of 6:57 per month (down 51 minutes from 7:48 a year ago).
  • 88.4% of all video viewing – across all screens, and including broadcast and non-broadcast content – is on the traditional TV set.

About The Australian Multi-Screen Report
The Australian Multi-Screen Report, released quarterly, is the first and only national research into trends in video viewing in Australian homes across television, computers and mobile devices. It combines data from the three best available research sources: the OzTAM and Regional TAM television ratings panels and Nielsen’s national NetView panel, Consumer & Media View database and Australian Connected Consumers report.