Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research
There was a time when parents bribed their kids to behave/do their homework/clean their bedrooms by threatening to withhold their TV viewing privileges. These days, they’d have more success confiscating Junior’s computer or mobile device.

There was a time when parents bribed their kids to behave/do their homework/clean their bedrooms by threatening to withhold their TV viewing privileges. These days, they’d have more success confiscating Junior’s computer or mobile device. Younger Australians are spending more time than ever online, and less watching TV, according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research.

Back in 2005, Generation Z* was watching an average 2 hours 29 minutes of TV per weekday and an average 5 hours 49 minutes on weekends. As of March 2013, this had decreased to 1:43 on weekdays and 4:17 on weekends. Meanwhile, the time they spend online has shot up from 1:53 to 3:24 per weekday; and from 4:33 to 7:38 on weekends.

Generation Y’s* TV and internet usage has followed a similar trajectory, with the average time they spend online rising from 1:33 to 3:11 per weekday and 2:48 to 5:58 on weekends. Their TV viewing has dropped off significantly as a result. Generation X* is also spending less time watching television and more on the internet, although their habits haven’t changed as dramatically as Gens Y and Z.

Television still tops

While the internet’s impact on Australians’ TV viewing is undeniable, the power of television can’t be discounted. The average Australian aged 14+ watches an average 19 hours 18 minutes’ worth of TV per week, ahead of the average 16 hours 10 minutes they spend online.

Indeed, older Aussies are watching a little more TV than they were in 2005. The average time spent by Pre-Boomers* on weekends has increased from 7:25 to 7:30, while Baby Boomers* now watch an average 7 hours 20 minutes on weekends, up from 6:59 in 2005. It is interesting to note that while both generations are also spending more time on the internet, this hasn’t affected their TV intake.

Other media

Overall time spent reading newspapers has decreased across all generations, with a national average of 18 minutes per weekday (down from 25 minutes in 2005) and 58 minutes on weekends (down from 1:22 in 2005). Radio and magazines have seen declines in consumption too.

However, the number of Australians reading newspapers or listening to radio online is growing, and is expected to increase further as more people start using iPhones.

*Generational definitions:

Pre-Boomers: born pre-1946; Baby Boomers: 1946-1960; Generation X: 1961-1975; Generation Y: 1976-1990; Generation Z: 1991-2005

Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2004 – March 2013 (n = 484,946).

George Pesutto, Industry Director — Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“While the time Australians spend watching TV has declined since 2005, we still spend more time watching it than we do consuming other media, including the internet. Television remains an important media channel in Australia.

“SBS’s recent relaunch of SBS 2 as a dedicated youth channel is a commendable attempt to thrive in these changing times, and it will be interesting to see if they succeed in wooing younger Australians back to the box.

“All media are facing the challenge of ensuring their content can be consumed online, and this is going to become more crucial into the future. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets allow us to access all our media ‘on the go’, whether it’s reading the newspaper or streaming radio on the train or watching that TV show you missed on your tablet. This all counts as time spent online, and its growing popularity shows that people expect their media be available at their convenience, no matter where they happen to be at the time.”

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Roy Morgan Research


Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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There was a time when parents bribed their kids to behave/do their homework/clean their bedrooms by threatening to withhold their TV viewing privileges. These days, they’d have more success confiscating Junior’s computer or mobile device.

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