In a year defined by uncertainty, one thing you can count on is the enduring power of TV. Kim Portrate explains.
If there was one word to sum up 2020 so far, it would have to be uncertainty. Unprecedented and pivot are hot contenders but I'm going with uncertainty because it describes the new CV-19 normal. Australians are learning to live with unpredictability, which means we’re looking for as much certainty (as we can get) right now.
It’s why we gravitate to familiar and comforting things – things we’ve long relied on. And it's no surprise that we’re turning to TV. In 2020, TV has been the source of important news and information as well as an escape in the form of much-loved drama and reality programs.
Looking back at the first six months of 2020, a clear picture emerges of TV’s enduring power. Few media platforms reach three-quarters of Australians every week.
So, who are all these people watching TV?
Linear TV continues to reach four out of five Australians with the average monthly hours consumed per person increasing in the first half of 2020 to 68 hours and 27 minutes. So, the short answer is, most people.
But to drill down a little, Australians watch an average of two hours and eight minutes of TV every day in metro areas and two hours and 37 minutes in regional areas.
Women are the biggest TV watchers consuming two hours and 18 minutes in metro and two hours and 46 minutes in regional areas.
And prime time still rules – the bulk of all TV watching happens during the hours of 6pm and 10pm.
TV is also all about choice.
Viewers watch their favourite shows live and on playback as it suits them, and yet the thrill of a shared co-viewing experience is clear with the number of hours watched live growing in the first half of 2020. And playback growth shows that Aussies are watching more TV in more ways than before.
TV is an anywhere anytime experience with the preferred device for viewing the big screen at home. Even for Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD), the big screen eclipses mobile, tablet and laptop viewing.
The number of TV sets per Australian household is stable at 1.8 but the viewing experience is changing with the average number of video-capable screens increasing to 6.7 per household. Likewise, connected TVs have opened a whole new world for viewers with almost 60% of BVOD content being consumed on them every day.
Connected TVs are helping to drive the adoption of BVOD with an average of almost 17 million BVOD hours consumed every week – that’s an increase of 30.9% year-on-year.
All this means one thing: TV still sits centre stage in the hearts and homes of Australians.
And with the state of uncertainty set to persist well into the second half of the year, TV will continue to play an enduring and important role in the lives of Australians.
Kim Portrate is the CEO of ThinkTV.