nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Australian TV viewing slides as Netflix rises

Australian TV viewing Q1 2016 Q1 2017

In the last year, live TV viewing has fallen sharply in Australia, along with timeshifted viewing on a DVR. Are Australians just watching less? Not likely, Netflix is growing fast.

Live TV viewing falling fast across the board

According to new data (from Nielsen, and Australia’s two tv audience measurement groups Regional TAM, and OzTAM,) Australians still spend a lot of time watching live TV. On average, they watched 79-and-a-half hours per month, (2 hours and 40 minutes per day) in Q1 2017. However, that is 9% lower than one year earlier.

Live viewing declined in every age group. However, the biggest drops were experienced in those 34-years-old and younger. Millennials (those 18-34-years-old) watched 22% less (about an hour per day), teens watched 14% less (55 minutes per day), and kids watched 16% less (1 hour 36 minutes per day.)

Timeshifted TV viewing falling faster

The lost live TV viewing is not transferring to timeshifted TV viewing, at least not to shows broadcast within the previous 28 days. Overall, timeshifted viewing declined 6%, to a miserly 8 hours and 36 minutes a month. This is very low keeping in mind that almost two-thirds of Australian homes have a DVR. Again, those under 35-years-old saw double-digit declines in timeshifted TV viewing. For example, teens watched 15% less, or just 3 hours a month.Australian timeshifted TV viewing Q1 2016 Q1 2017Surprisingly, the biggest drop in timeshifted viewing was experienced in the oldest viewers. Those 65-years and older watched 28% less timeshifted TV, or 10 hours and 12 minutes per month.

PC/laptop viewing up, with one big exception

The Nielsen/Regional TAM/OzTAM data does not cover Q1 2016. So, comparing Q2 2016 to Q1 2017 usage should be used as a directional guide only. According to this data, Q1 2017 viewing on laptops and PC increased 3.4% overall from Q2 2016 to an average of 13 hours and 6 minutes per month.Australian PC video viewing Q1 2016 Q1 2017Teens showed a huge 82% increase in usage between Q2 2016 and Q1 2017. They watched 8 hours and 42 minutes a month. The biggest users, however, are the millennials. They watched 22 hours and 6 minutes a month (44 minutes per day), up 1%.

Kids, however, are turning away from the PC fast. Viewing fell 19%, to just under 12 hours a month. Could be that parents are moving their children to simpler platforms to manage, like tablets and connected TVs.

The Australian Video Viewing Report provides some directional data on mobile usage. It says Australians watch 2 hours and 46 minutes of video a month on smartphones and 2 hours and 34 minutes on a tablet in Q4 2016. Young Millennials (18-24-year-olds) watch the most on smartphones (9 hours), and older millennials (25-34-years-old) watch the most on tablets (4.38 hours.)

Australians embracing Netflix

Netflix launched in Australia and New Zealand in March 2015. By the beginning of 2016, 3.8M Australians were already using the service. However, subscriber growth seemed to plateau mid-year. According to new data from Rex Morgan Research, Netflix picked up three-quarters of a million new users (300,000 household subscriptions) since July 2016. That means 5.8M Australians now have household access to Netflix. In other words, Australian grew to a 25% penetration in just 20 months. It took the UK 4 years to reach that penetration.

Most Australian Netflix users have yet to integrate the service into their daily lives. Nearly a quarter of users watch the service for more than an hour per day. 35% watch between 3-7 hours per week, and 42% watch for less than 3 hours per week.

Why it matters

Australian live and timeshifted television viewing is falling fast.

The biggest declines are felt among the younger audiences.

Netflix penetration has grown to 25% just 2 years after its launch and is indicative of a big shift toward online viewing.

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