22% fall in live TV watching in three years

TV screen usage has reached its lowest point in four years, with Australians spending an average of 111 hrs and 3 minutes per month watching content on TV screens.

The results come from the first Australian Video Viewing Report by Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, which succeeds the quarterly Australian Multi-Screen Report from previous years.

The new quarterly report succeeds the Australian Multi-Screen report.

Even including catchup viewing, TVs are being used for an average of ten hours less per month – a fall of more than 8% over the last four years.

The first results for 2017 suggest while 83% of Australians watch some broadcast TV on in-home sets, total TV screen use is at its lowest point since the quarterly numbers became available at the start of 2013.

In the first quarter, monthly viewing showed a 6hr and 27 minutes year on year decline, with Australians using the TV screen for 111 hrs and 3 minutes a month, down from 117 hours and 30 minutes the year before.

Total TV Screen Use saw its biggest year on year decline in four years. Source: Australian Video Viewing Report Q1 2017

Live broadcast TV has seen an even bigger fall – down from a high of nearly 90 hours per month three years ago, to around 70 hours in the most recent quarter – a fall of 22% in just over three years.

Playback within seven days was the only area to remain relatively stable, with Australians consuming 7hrs and 4 minutes compared to last year’s 7hrs and 36 minutes.

However, television remains a powerful medium, with the numbers suggesting the average Australian spends the equivalent of four-and-a-half days a month watching TV.

Other results show 1-2% of broadcast TV content viewed each week takes place on connected devices – as measured by OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement (VPM) data.

OzTAM VPM data – which captures minute-by-minute viewing of participating broadcasters’ free online ‘catch up TV’ (video on demand) and live-streamed content across multiple devices – covers broadcasters including the ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, SBS and Foxtel.

The results suggest more content is viewed online during the day on weekends, compared to weekdays, and catch up activity peaks later in the evening.

Devices used most for online video viewing are tablets, smart phones and desktops/laptops.

Active online Australians aged 2+ spend 13 hrs and 4 minutes per month watching video on desktop/laptop.

Viewing patterns on ‘connected devices’ Source: Australian Video Viewing Report Q1 2017.

The age group using desktop/laptop most are the 18-24s, at 22 hrs and 4 minutes monthly, ahead of the 25-34s, who watched 20hrs and 4 minutes of video on desktop or laptop each month.

The 65+ age demographic and teenage demographic are least likely to watch video on desktop/laptop reporting 6 hrs and 8 hrs 39 minutes a month respectively.

A Month In the Life. Source: Australian Video Viewing Report Q1 2017

Craig Johnson, regional managing director for media at Nielsen said the latest results suggest content providers and advertisers need to be “flexible” in their approaches to reaching consumers.

“As we move through 2017 we’ve continued to see growth of Australians aged 18-24 engaging with video content online.

“This is certainly reflected in video viewing on mobile devices with this group now spending more than nine hours a month watching video via a smartphone – making them the biggest consumers of mobile video content,” Johnson said.

OzTAM’s CEO, Doug Peiffer, added:  “As people embrace device and platform choice, for some these new options actually create more time to stay up to date with their favourite TV programs or watch other video – for example, while commuting or taking a few minutes out during their lunch break.

“Although connected screens and endless content options contribute to the gradual decline in the time people spend watching live and time-shifted TV, particularly for younger viewers, nearly all Australians watch broadcast TV each week. On average across the total population TV remains the most-watched screen.”

In addition to the results,OzTAM, Regional TAM and Nielsen has added a new demographic to their quarterly report – ‘Total Grocery Shoppers’ – to better reflect changing grocery buying patterns.

Reasons for the additional demographic include people delaying marriage and children, more households where parents work, young adults leaving home later, growing share households, busy schedules, online shopping and more creativity in cooking.

‘Grocery Buyer’ profiles Source: Australian Video Viewing Report Q1 2017


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