Australians view more TV

Binge watching for longer.

Australians are watching more TV and video content but pulling back on social media, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Media Consumer Survey.

Not only is watching TV and video content on any device the preferred entertainment activity for 59% of Australians, alongside browsing the internet, but they are also watching more videos or TV content than ever before and binge watching for longer, Deloitte technology, media and communications leader, Kimberly Chang said.

“Our report shows we are seeing a rise, not demise, of the viewing of TV-type content. However, we are now watching the content in very different ways, particularly through Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) and services such as Netflix or Stan. Australians are combining a number of sources to get more of the content they want, and when they want it,” Chang said.

Overall, Australians are watching on average 17.5 hours of content per week in 2017, compared with 17.2 hours in 2015. Of all age groups, the over 50s have increased their viewing the most by 1.3 and 1.7 additional hours per week respectively. And the majority of survey respondents are watching three or more consecutive TV episodes in a single sitting.

The data also found that Australians have embraced technology that further enables their viewing experiences with 50% of respondents now owning IP-enabled TVs, and ownership of over-the-top boxes and portable streaming devices is at 26% and 17% respectively.

Subscriptions to SVOD have increased since last year surpassing Pay TV subscriptions for the first time. Further, 32% of SVOD subscribers access multiple services to get the right content, up from 18% in 2016.

But there have been changing consumer patterns in watching live sports and news which gives early warning signals for commercial broadcasters, Deloitte media leader, Niki Alcorn said.  “News and sports are still what we watch most often live at the time of broadcast, but both have declined markedly over the past two years.”

Fewer than half of respondents indicated they most often watch the news at the time of broadcast compared to 63% in 2015, with fewer than one-third watching sport at the time of broadcast compared to 38% in 2015.

Meanwhile, traditional forms of accessing news such as TV, print newspapers, radio and magazines are stable with those most frequently accessing digital sources for news down slightly. Use of social media to access news has dropped, putting social media sites back on par with online newspapers.

Some of the change might be attributed to the growing awareness of so-called ‘fake news’, Alcorn said. “Fifty eight percent of respondents agree that they have changed the way they access news material online given the prevalence of ‘fake news’.”

The data also revealed that Australians are increasingly dissatisfied with social media and while the daily usage of social media platforms remains high, 20% of respondents don’t enjoy their time on social media, and nearly half spend more time on it that they would like.

“We appear to be getting social media fatigue,” Kimberly Chang said. “Daily social media usage has dropped slightly from 61% to 59% over the last year, and 31% of respondents have temporarily or permanently deactivated one or more of their social media accounts in the past year,” she said. “Both trends are driven primarily by Leading Millennials.”

The survey shows that 29% of respondents spend more effort maintaining their social media image and connections than they do in-person relationships. This behaviour is most prevalent among Leading Millennials (43%). “Perhaps the effort required to curate a certain image on social media is contributing to their dissatisfaction,” Chang said.

Other highlights from the survey included:

  • Advertising influencers: After word-of-mouth and its digital equivalent (online reviews from someone we know), TV advertisements have the greatest influence on advertising decisions (53% reporting high or medium influence). The influence of social media advertising has continued to grow (36%) to now be on par with news, magazines, radio and billboards.
  • Privacy: 70% of survey respondents are worried about becoming victims of identity theft as a result of sharing information online, compared to 74% last year.
  • Avoiding paying for video advertising: Most survey respondents will skip an ad playing before a video (77%), and half (50%) will abandon a short video completely if they cannot skip the pre-roll ad. One third (31%) use ad blocking technology to avoid ads altogether.
  • Paying for online news: 90% of Australians remain unwilling to pay for online news. Of those that will pay, trust in the brand and in-depth news analysis being the primary reasons they will pay
  • Myth-busting the gamer stereotypes: Gamers are not just young males: females (35%) are gaming just as frequently as males (36%), or at least once a week. The most popular games for females are card or puzzle games on a smartphone, while for males are first person shooting games on gaming consoles.

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