Multi-screen report shows over a quarter of Australian homes have four screens

A review of media consumption in Australian households has found over a quarter of Australian homes have access to four screens, and the percentage of homes with tablets has more than doubled in the past year to 31 per cent.

The announcement:

The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report reveals an increasingly connected Australian home, with 27% now having access to four screens: television, computer, smartphone and tablet (16% a year ago).

The report, which covers the first quarter of calendar 2013, shows media consumption patterns are evolving as households add new technologies.

Overall television use is strong

Amid the proliferation of new technologies, overall use of the main household TV set has been constant over the past three years, demonstrating people’s voracious appetite for television and other video content.

Television is in 99% of homes, and Australians continue to spend the majority of their screen
time with the in-home TV set.

People watched an average 92 hours and 39 minutes (92:39) of TV per month in the quarter1. 93% of viewing is Live, with Playback viewing within seven days of broadcast accounting for 6:48. Playback viewing and Other Screen Usage (which includes using the TV for gaming,online activities, and Playback beyond seven days after broadcast) continue to rise.

Strong overall use of the TV screen also reflects the take-up of internet connected TVs, now in 21% of homes (15% in Q1 2012) and increasing variety of devices attached to the main TV set, such as games consoles, ‘over-the-top’ television services, and PVRs – now in 53% of homes, with 13% having two or more PVRs.

New in-home technologies and evolving viewing habits

As they embrace new screen technologies, people use them to complement their TV viewing. While the TV set is used mostly to watch Live TV, new devices are used for many purposes.

The amount of time spent watching TV content and other video on connected devices depends on both device penetration levels and characteristics, with people of all age groups generally preferring to watch video on the largest available screen.

An estimated 31% of homes now have tablets – more than double the 15% estimated in Q1 2012. Across the online population aged 16 and over, people claim to spend an average 50 minutes per month2 using tablets to watch any online video, which can include both broadcast TV and non-broadcast content.

While penetration of devices affects the overall incidence of viewing across screens in the broader population, audiences seem to prefer certain screens over others. For example, of people using each device, tablet users spend more time watching online video than smartphone users do. As tablet penetration increases, this suggests overall viewing on these screens will surpass viewing on smartphones.

Simultaneous screen use rises

The percentage of homes with tablets has more than doubled in the past year, from 15% in Q1 2012 to 31% now. 61% of Australians aged 16+ have smartphones (48% a year ago).

The steady take-up of connected devices, and the fact people keep them close by most of the time, has seen an increase in media ‘multi-tasking’ – that is, using more than one screen at the same time – among Australians aged 16 and over.

74% of online Australians aged 16+ say they ever multi-task – up from about 60% in 2011.

79% of that group say they do so at least once a week; 32% say they do so at least once daily; and 54% claim to do so almost every day3.

While online Australians under 35 years of age are more likely to simultaneously use TV and the internet, those aged 25 years and above are more likely to do so very frequently (on a daily basis) than online Australians aged 16-24 years. Women also use multiple screens
simultaneously more frequently than men4.

Laptops and desktop computers, which have the highest household ownership rates compared to other devices, are the primary devices used for multi-tasking, although people’s preference to use them for this purpose has declined year-on-year. Meanwhile, as their take-up continues to rise, smartphones and tablets are increasingly the primary devices people use for multi-tasking.

Deborah Wright, Regional TAM chairperson, said: “The latest Multi-Screen Report shows TV at the centre of an increasingly connected Australian household. While people watch around three hours of television a day on the traditional TV set, they are also embracing other devices to suit the occasion and enhance their viewing experience.

“This creates rich opportunities for media owners, content producers and marketers to engage audiences across multiple platforms and keep viewers close to the content.

“Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen will continue to monitor evolving audience behaviour to give the industry better insight into how consumers are using new devices.”

Key findings as of Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2013:

  • More than 91% of all viewing5 is to the traditional television set, on average 92 hours and 39 minutes (92:39) per month6.
  • 93% of all TV viewing is live, with playback accounting for 7% (6:48 per month).
  • 53% of homes have PVRs, and 13% of homes have two or more PVRs.
  • Internet-connected TVs are in 21% of homes (15% in Q1 2012).
  • 31% of homes have tablets (15% in Q1 2012). Across the online population aged 16+, people spend an average 50 minutes per month7 using tablets to watch any online video, which can include both broadcast TV and non-broadcast content.
  • 61% of Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone (48% in Q1 2012) and spend on average 1:20 per month8 viewing any video on these devices (1:20 a year ago).
  • 98% of homes have converted to digital terrestrial television (DTT), with 84% having converted every working set in the home to DTT.
  • 11.4 million Australians watch some video (both television broadcast and nonbroadcast content) online via a PC or laptop each month: an average of 6:43 per month. Such viewing is highest among people aged 18-24 (13:16)9.
  • Household internet penetration is stable at 80%.
  • Australians spend on average 51:47 per month using the internet on a PC.
  • 74% of online Australians aged 16+ say they ever multi-task (simultaneously watch
  • TV and use the internet). Of that group, 79% claim to at least once a week (60% in 2011). 32% do so at least once daily, and 54% say they do so almost every day10.
  • Viewing of any video via extended screens (PC, smartphone and tablet) account for 9% of the video consumption on traditional TV sets:
  • o 6:43 per month on PCs (All People)
  • o 1:20 per month on smartphones (People 16+)
  • o 0:50 per month on tablets (People 16+)
  • o 92:39 per month on traditional TV set (All People)

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 and Consumer & Media View database.

Source: OzTam, Nielson, Regional TAM press release


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