The second screen hasn't killed live TV...yet

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 10 October 2014

The plethora of second-screen devices threatening to take eyeballs away from live TV has not yet impacted on live TV viewing to any great extent – people are just spending more time looking at screens.

New figures put out by OzTAM, Nielsen, and Regional TAM, today (10 October) indicate Australians are now spending more or less the same amount of time watching TV.

The report found that during the second quarter of this year, Australians on average spent 97 hours and three minutes per month watching TV content through a TV set, with seven hours and 58 minutes of that time being used to view time shifted content through a personal video recorder.

"The Multi-Screen Report shows Australian viewing habits are changing gradually rather than dramatically," OzTAM's chief executive Doug Peiffer said.

"Secondary use of the TV set is bringing more people in front of the TV, increasing the overall amount of time spent with the big screen and reinforcing its place as the household ‘main screen’.

"And even as connected devices increase the range of viewing options, Australians of all ages still spend the majority of their screen time watching live broadcast television on in-home TV sets."

Image courtesy of Q2 2014 Australian Multi-Screen Report


While the TV figure of roughly 3 hours per day is broadly consistent with the average over the last decade, the amount of time looking at other screens increased.

The viewing of online video on laptops increased to an average of eight hours and eight minutes per month, which is an increase of roughly 21% on a year ago.

Overall, the data showed that 89.1% of all video viewing across TV sets, including broadcast and non-broadcast content, is on the traditional TV set.

People are spending more time viewing the TV screen owing to the increase of other devices such as games consoles and personal video recorders that plug into TV sets and a rising number of homes which have internet connected sets.

While the number of homes connected to the internet remains stable at about 80%, the number of internet-enabled TV sets has risen from 22% a year ago to its current base of 27%.

Meanwhile 55% of Australian homes have at least one personal video recorder while 14% have at least two or more devices.

Overall, OzTAM said the report re-inforced the notion that the main TV set was still number one, despite the proliferation of different screens into Australian homes.

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