Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Australians are increasingly switching off live commercial television and finding new ways to watch their shows, the latest Roy Morgan research shows. The proportion of Australians who stream online television has tripled in three years from 3% to 9%, and ownership of internet-connected (Smart) TVs has grown from fewer than one in 60 in 2009 to one in 10 today. 

Australians are increasingly switching off live commercial television and finding new ways to watch their shows, the latest Roy Morgan research shows. The proportion of Australians 14+ who views any commercial TV on a normal weekday has declined by over 3% since 2009, while uptake of online streaming, time-shifting devices and internet connected TV grows.

The proportion of Australians who stream online television has tripled in three years from 3% to 9%, and ownership of internet-connected (Smart) TVs has grown from fewer than one in 60 in 2009 to one in 10 today.

The penetration of time-shifting Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) has almost doubled from 16% to 29% in the same period. The proportion of us with a Pay TV subscription in their home is up 5% points to almost 30%.

These newer TV technologies each impact differently on commercial TV viewership, with online streaming via computer or mobile device clearly the most influential determinant.

In the six months to December 2012, Australians who streamed TV were significantly more likely to be commercial TV teetotallers (17% watched no commercial TV versus the national 9.5%), and the 83% of streamers who watched some commercial TV did so substantially less than average: nationally, around a third of people are light commercial TV watchers (<2 hours per day) and another third are heavy (>3 hours); among TV streamers light watchers outnumber heavy watchers by almost 2.5 to 1—and there are only marginally more heavy viewers than non-viewers.

The largest bloc of streaming TV viewers is men aged 25-34, of whom 18% stream TV—almost double the national rate. This group is also the most likely to avoid commercial television altogether, but more than one in three of these young men stream TV instead.

On the other hand, people who have Pay TV, a PVR or an internet-connected TV are all as likely as the general population to watch regular commercial TV. However, while PVR owners watch an average amount of ‘commercial TV’, the medium in this case may no longer be particularly ‘commercial’.

Andrew Braun, Mobile, Internet and Technology Industry Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In recent years, the way Australians view TV content has seen some change. New technologies such as online streaming and PVRs are becoming increasingly popular. This is unsurprising as they allow you to watch what you want, when you want, with less or no interruption from advertising.

“Men aged 25-34 are almost twice as likely as the average Australian to stream TV content online, and these streamers are then almost three times more likely to forgo traditional TV altogether.

“As this group is also an early adoption segment, we can expect streaming to become increasingly mainstream and consequently for traditional commercial TV viewership to continue to fall.

“Both free-to-air and Pay TV content providers and their advertisers will need to monitor the attitudes and behaviours of early-adopters to best gauge the full impact of online streaming, PVRs, and Smart TVs as they become universally adopted as an ordinary way to watch TV."

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Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2009 to December 2012, 6 month moving average. Average sample n=9,746. Base: Australians 14+

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Keywords

tv, televisoin, streaming, mainstream

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