One Screen To Rule Them All? OzTAM Thinks So

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  • Article by Amy Bradney-George
  • March 25, 2015 at 10:03 AM

Despite a growing number of devices that offer viewing services and options, traditional televisions are still the most popular choice for Australians.

That’s the message being shared by OzTAM (the official source for Australian Television Audience Measurement) in the latest Australian Multi-Screen Report. The report – which combines data from OzTAM, the Regional TAM television ratings panels and Nielsen reports – looks at household take-up of screen technologies and the interplay between them.

The report for the December 2014 shows that viewing of video content on internet-connected mobile devices has grown year-on-year but remains “small” compared to the time Australians spend watching broadcast television on in-home TV sets.

Specifically, it found that Australians watched an average 90 hours and 27 minutes (90:27) of broadcast TV for the quarter (including both free-to-air and subscription channels). In comparison, people spent an average of 7 hours and 28 minutes viewing content from a computer, 2 hours and 47 minutes from smartphones and 2 hours and 3 minutes from tablets.

Nielsen’s Senior Vice President of Cross Platform Audience Measurement, Erica Boyd, says while there is an increase in mobile devices resulting in increased viewing time on smaller screens “the majority of TV viewing still takes place on traditional sets.”

“Australians have a large appetite for good content and TV sets continue to be the main place audiences go to satisfy this need, supplemented by content viewed on digital technologies,” she says.

Predictably, the report reveals that younger people (aged 18-24) have the highest viewing rate on mobile devices – around 11 hours per month. While some commentators have been saying the rise in streaming from smaller devices will lead to the death of traditional television, OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer says this result simply shows “how life stage impacts media use across devices”.

“Teens have always been the lightest TV viewers, and as people get older and have children they stay home more and watch more TV,” he explains.

“Now however Australians of all ages are viewing more on second screens, and their overall use of the TV screen is growing too. But people still turn to the main household TV first and will continue to do so. The death of TV will follow the death of the couch.”

So unless someone invents something better for our lounge rooms, it looks like couch potatoes will still seek out entertainment on actual TV screens most of the time.

Images: Child watching TV, credit: Fabrizio Sciami; second screen experience, credit: Primus Inter Pares

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Comments (1)
  • March 25, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    I don’t even own a tv.