Smartphones, tablets see large gains in Oz OTT viewing as TV declines

While traditional TV viewing remains the most popular way to consume video content in Australia, cracks are beginning to widen as more consumers watch over-the-top video on connected TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones.

Australians watched 5% less traditional broadcast TV a month in Q1 2016 than they did just a year ago, according to the latest Australian Multi-Screen Report from Regional TAM, OZTAM and Nielsen, while increasing their online viewing time by a whopping 39%.

Australians watched an average 85 hours 12 min. of live viewing and playback through the TV within seven days of broadcast in Q1, down 4 hours 16 min. in the past year. Over the past 12 months, TV’s reach declined across every age group (except people over 65) as more users turn to alternative over-the-top sources of entertainment like Netflix.

Online viewing time increased to 19% of traditional TV time, up from 13% a year ago.

Overall time spent viewing OTT content reached 15 hours 52 min.  from just 11 hours 24 min. a year ago. Viewers watched 8 hours 33 min. on PCs and laptops, 3 hours 1 min. on tablets and 4 hours 18 min. on smartphones.

Consumers aged 18-24 watched nearly as much video on computers and mobile devices (35 hours 56 min.) as on TV (37 hours 22 min.).

The use of smartphones and tablet to watch video saw significant growth.

Among 18-24 year olds, monthly video viewing increased:

  • 67% on smartphones to 8 hours 51 min.
  • 74% on tablets to 3 hours 35 mins.

Among 25-34 year olds, monthly video viewing increased:

  • 52% on smartphones to 6 hours 53 min.
  • 57% on tablets to 6 hours 32 min.

Among 35-49 year olds, monthly video viewing increased:

  • 55% on smartphones to 3 hours 1 min.
  • 87% on tablets to 3 hours 26 min.

Among 50-64 year olds, monthly video viewing increased:

  • 126% on smartphones to 52 min., but decreased 7% on tablets to 43 min.

Using second – and even third screens – while watching traditional TV also is on the rise with 76% of Australians now using a second screen while they watch TV and an astounding 33% accessing content on two or more devices (i.e. a smartphone and a tablet) while watching TV. Among 16-34 year olds, second screen use is nearly ubiquitous with 90% saying they use one while watching TV.

Device ownership rising

Ownership of mobile device continues to increase. Some 81% of Australians aged 14 and above now own a smartphone, up 5% from a year ago and up from 61% in 2013. Nearly half (49%) of all HH own at least one tablet, up from 47% in 2015 and just 31% in 2013. More than a third (35%) of HH own a connected TV, up from 30% a year ago and 81% of homes have an Internet connection, basically flat for the past year.

The average number of televisions in Australian households, meanwhile, has fallen slightly in the past year, while the number of screens overall has increased nearly 5% to 6.4 per HH.

OzTam said some 2.31 million connected devices access catch up TV on a weekly basis.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn