More watching TV on smaller screens

More Australians are watching television on multiple screens and not reliant on their standard television set, a survey has found.

The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association has found 1 in 3 households regularly use laptops, mobile phones, personal data devices and iPads to watch, in addition to standard TV sets.

“These findings clearly show the growing appetite of Australians for more options to access television programming anywhere and anytime through a mix of devices,” said ASTRA CEO, Petra Buchanan.

“This survey shows it is all about choice and control over your television viewing. Australians are seeking greater variety in television programming and that desire really drives the decision to have subscription television,” she added.

The survey of more than 300 television watching households found:
* 34% are watching programming regularly on screens in addition to their TV sets;
* 81% said choice of programming drove their decision to have subscription TV
* 52% said they get a variety of programming on subscription TV not found elsewhere

“The most popular alternative screens are personal computers (80%) and Laptops or Notebooks (48%) followed by iPhones (34%).

“The findings also present some interesting demographic comparisons, for example; those aged under 25 years used the iPod to view television more (25% compared to 16% across all age groups) and older viewers aged 34 to 44 years used the iPad the most (24% compared to 11% across all age groups)”, said Buchanan.

In 2010, Pay TV viewers watched 4:39 hours of television per day on the traditional “set” compared to 4.07 hours for all viewers.


  1. Agreeing with Squïrrel,Neon Kitten falling for the old trick of “All the people I know” if that was the case only one person I know voted labor so I should be shocked the FOT now rules.
    Technology moves faster then most friends,we are entering a phase of logarithmic technological acceleration that is scaring the hell out of everyone involved in it.
    Only a couple of years ago most at the cutting edge knew the general direction we were traveling as the landscape has expanded so have the roads winding through it.

    Some of,if not a lot of these roads and pathways are proving to be dead ends and are taking a lot of casualties as they come to a crashing halt.
    Cases such as the recent New Zealand rulings are being watched carefully all over the world and content protection will be the next great battleground.

  2. It’s a wonder with more people watching via their mobile devices that ABC hasn’t yet released an iView app for it’s site. Yes I know it’s flash but so if YouTube and it’s a default app on the iPhone/iPad, surely they can make something similar to access the raw mp4 files, unless iView only uses FLV behind the scenes?

  3. Secret Squïrrel

    @Neon Kitten – I think that it’s your data sample that’s flawed (skewed actually). I know plenty of people too, and they range across the full spectrum from those that still watch mostly analog TV (on their TV) to those who prefer to watch regular TV on mobile devices to those who hardly ever watch FTA TV, preferring to watch on laptops and iPads what they want when they want.

    I think the commercial networks have got somewhere around 10 years to invest in primary alternative content delivery platforms (not just catch-up services) or risk becoming redundant. They already are for some people.

  4. I met an 18 year old kid a a BBQ not long ago and he told me he didn’t have a tv. The sharehouse did however have eight computers. Australia is one of the largest users of torrents in the world and so many people swap DVDs and files between themselves. If they start hulu here it will be massive. Almost everyone I know uses iview. Plex is being built in to some new tvs. Abc should look at putting iview straight into tvs. Or build a cheap box to hook up.

  5. Interesting but, I think, flawed data. I know a Lot of people. They all watch TV on a TV. They do not watch on a computer, iPad and especially not an iPhone. At all. Ever.

    The exception is a few who download shows and, not having any way of watching these files on their TV, are forced to watch on the computer. But that’s not “TV”, now, is it? 🙂

  6. Armchair Analyst

    Very interesting. it goes to show that people want choice and portability, further demonstrating that people are sick and tired of FTA Networks bullying them and disrespecting them at the same time. i think the stat about the i phones or i pads will only increase as the years go on.

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