TV viewing on the decline: report

09_TV viewing on the decline report

Andrew Leeson
(Australian Associated Press)

Australians are watching less broadcast television, with many young viewers choosing to watch video on phones and tablets.

The number of hours spent watching TV has dropped in all age groups, with the exception of those over 65, according to the latest Australian Multi-Screen Report, based on data from several ratings agencies.

Broadcast TV remains the dominant platform, but hours watched in the three months to December was down about six per cent from 12 months earlier.

Viewers aged 24 and under are watching the least amount of TV, while their online viewing has nearly doubled in the space of just 12 months, using smartphones and tablets.

They racked up an average of about 14 hours of online video per month during the last quarter of 2015.

Online viewing includes catchup services and streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Presto.

Sydney University online and social media lecturer Jonathon Hutchinson said broadcasters face a challenge in attracting those who have grown up watching video on phones and tablets.

“It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out amongst the younger audiences who are accustomed to … mobile devices,” he told AAP.

But the growing popularity of smart TVs since 2014, which often include options to use streaming and catchup services, suggests the TV set will remain a key piece of household furniture.

“Television is not dead but it’s changing incredibly,” Dr Hutchinson said.


* Broadcast TV still dominates, with a reach of around 22 million

* Online video consumption nearly doubled in 12 months for those 24 and under

* Viewers aged 12 to 24 watch the least amount of TV – 33 hours a month

* Viewers over 65 watch the most – 150 hours a month

* Homes with smart TVs increased two per cent

* 50-64 year olds were the only age group to significantly drop online viewing, down by two hours a month


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