The latest television viewing figures from Australia indicate that watching television at the time of transmission has declined significantly among younger age groups. The viewing of programmes as they are broadcast has generally fallen in each of the past five years, although later playback continues to rise. Even so, over 90% of all broadcast television viewed on television sets is still watched at the time of transmission.
In the first quarter of 2015 Australians watched an average of just under 89.5 hours a month of broadcast television, both free to air and by subscription, on traditional television sets, either at the time of transmission or played back within a week. That is down by approaching an hour a week on year on year.
In comparison, Australians spent almost seven hours a month watching broadcast programming and other online video on personal computers or laptops, approaching three hours on smartphones and just over two hours a month on tablets.
Overall, less than 12% of all video viewing, both broadcast and non-broadcast material, is on screens other than the television.
“Australians now have a remarkable range of options for watching their favourite television programs,” explained Doug Peiffer, the chief executive of the Australian television audience measurement organisation OzTAM. “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.”
Kids watched slightly less live television compared to the previous year, but more playback and online. Among teens, viewing of live television fell by seven hours a month. Among those aged 18-24 it fell by almost five hours a month. It was down almost seven hours a month among those aged 25-34 and those aged 35-49. There was only a small reduction in live viewing among those aged over 50.
As in other regions, older viewers watch significantly more television. Australians over 65 years old watch television for an average of over 150 hours of television a month or approaching 5 hours a day. Including other media, such as DVDs, they spend an average of over 5.5 hours a day in front of the television.
Television viewing remains remarkably popular. On average 88-89% of the Australian population watch at least once a week. As Craig Johnson of Nielsen remarks, “The TV screen remains the core of this consumption”.
However, traditional television viewing is declining among younger age groups, notably among teenagers. They are watching more video on their smartphones tablets and personal computers.
Ten years ago, teenagers in Australia watched an average of just less than 68.5 hours of television a month. Now they watch less than 34 hours of television at the time of transmission. That is half as much as they did a decade ago.
They watch another four and a quarter hours a month of playback, another six hours on a personal computer, fourteen hours on a smartphone and nearly seven and a half hours on a tablet.
In fact, across all these screens their total television and video viewing rose by just over three hours a month in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.
In all, Australian teenagers are still watching television and video for over 93 hours a month, or over 3 hours a day.
The Australian Multi-Screen Report for the first quarter of 2015 is published by is published by OzTAM, Regional TAM and Nielsen.