Market Insight

In Australia, TV continues to be dominant but a shift in viewing is underway

August 10, 2017  | Subscribers Only

David Scott David Scott Associate Director – Research and Analysis, Service Providers & Platforms

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TV remains the most watched screen in Australia but cross-screen viewing behavior is on the rise according to the first issue of the Australian Video Viewing Report Q1, 2017, published by Australia's audience measurement body OzTAM. Like its predecessor, the Australian Multi-Screen Report, the Australian Video Viewing Report shows video viewing behavior by Australians, based on data from Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen.

Each week 19.9 million Australians or 83.7% of the population watch broadcast TV at home either via free-to-air or pay TV channels. Each person watched an average of 79 hours and 30 minutes per month or 2 hours 29 minutes per day of broadcast TV during Q1 2017. Live-to-air TV programming accounted for the lion’s share of viewing (89%) during the January to March 2017 period followed by playback of time-shifted programming within seven days of original broadcast (9%) and time-shifted between eight and 28 days of the original broadcast (1%).

Our analysis

Viewing on the in-home television set remains strong in Australia but a shift is underway to the now-ubiquitous connected mobile device as the choice of content, devices and platforms grows. Viewing of broadcast TV (free-to-air and pay TV channels) across the Australian population declined 2.3 percentage points to a reach of 83.7% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the corresponding period a year earlier. The decline is more pronounced in younger viewers, particularly the 18-24 years of age group, which declined by nearly 25 percentage points over the same period. 

Driving the decline is unprecedented choice in platforms for video viewing, whether it be mobile devices that allow video consumption outside the home, alternate platforms that allow video consumption at any time of the day, or new forms of content that allow consumers to engage with video content online. This engagement is particularly evident among viewers aged 18-24 years, who now spend more than nine hours a month watching video via a smartphone according to the report’s findings. Therefore, advertisers and content providers will need to be flexible with their approach to ensure future success. Broadcast television will continue to provide opportunities but device portability will drive fewer viewers to ‘lean-back’ to watch broadcast TV and instead ‘lean-in’ to watch content via connected devices.

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