Australian families are connected in more ways than one

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Australian families are connected in more ways than one

Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2015

10 August 2015: Using the internet and watching TV share equal status as our preferred sources of entertainment according to more than 2000 Australians in Deloitte’s annual Media Consumer Survey. And social is at the heart of everything they do.

The key findings of the fourth annual Deloitte survey show Australians across four generations and five age groups prefer a balanced diet for their media and entertainment; more so than might have been expected as we observed some key digital tipping points over the last year.

The Deloitte survey shows that 60% of Australians put using the internet for social or personal reasons in their top three entertainment activities, equal with watching TV on any device. Time spent watching TV and video content has increased to 17.2 hours a week over last year, boosted in part by the advent of mainstream streaming services.

Deloitte Media Partner and a co-author of the report Niki Alcorn said: “Currently Australians spend an average of 44% of their time watching TV and movie content traditionally - as linear broadcasts. However Trailing Millennials – the 14 to 24 year olds – spend only 26% of their viewing time watching linear broadcasts and 31% on streamed content. Our survey was fielded after the launch of Stan and Presto TV, but before the launch of Netflix Australia, so it captures some, but not all of the impact of these new entrants.

“Some 69% of respondents believe that being able to watch content when and where they want is more important than the device they watch it on. And the most important factor to improve the viewing experience for almost a quarter of respondents would be a ‘simpler way to search and find content’.”

Australians usually learn of new content through a mix of traditional and digital means - TV commercials (62%) and friends and family (56%), although social networks are ramping up, especially for Trailing (59%) and Leading Millennials (52%).

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Subscribing to the future

Ms Alcorn pointed out that: “This year we have seen consumers begin to embrace the idea of monthly, low-cost subscriptions across multiple forms of media and entertainment, whether this is video streaming (12% of households) or music streaming (10% of households). Pay TV subscriptions are holding stable for now (at 39%), but when it comes to Pay TV, Australians would prefer to subscribe only to the content they want to watch – rather than a broader package.”

Seeing the world through social

Both our overall engagement with social media and the frequency with which we use it are increasing. Now, 80% of Australian respondents use social media, up from 65% in 2012. Fifty nine per cent of survey respondents use social media on a daily basis, and 23% do so more than three times a day.

Deloitte Telco, Media and Technology leader Stuart Johnston said: “Social media use is so ingrained in Australia that for the first time more than half of survey respondents (51%) stated that the time they spend interacting with others through social media is as valuable as the time they spend together in person.

“In fact social networks have now become social ecosystems. We are now using social to interact with a much wider ‘ecosystem’ of content and information, and we both contribute to and draw from this ecosystem.

“Keeping up to date with breaking news is one of the top three reasons for using social for 36% of survey respondents. And more than a quarter (26%) of our survey respondents maintain a blog.”

Johnston added social media in fact presents something of a paradox for business. He said: “Half of us (49% of survey respondents) believe our customer service issues are more effectively raised and resolved through social media, and 55% of respondents say they are able to learn more about a company, brand, product and service through their use of social media than via their website. However, consumers are still wary of the commercial presence in social media, with 59% are concerned with the use of posts and tweets being used for commercial purposes.

“This is useful information for all businesses, no matter whether in the technology, media and telecommunications sector, financial services, public sector, utilities or retail. If more than half of us rely on social media as the best way to connect with businesses, Australian businesses definitely need a social strategy.”

He added that: “Eighty one per cent of Australians are kept spellbound by our smartphones, our most valued device. And for the first time we’ve seen a small reduction in laptop ownership by households to 82%, DVRs (from 46% to 43%) and gaming consoles (55% to 51%). This means that mobile technologies continue to be paramount when it comes to engaging and retaining customers.

“Connectivity is the name of the game,” said Johnston. “The modern Australian family or household is a connected one - with an average of two TVs, two laptops, two tablets and two smartphones!”

Masters of multi-tasking

Deloitte Media Lead Clare Harding said: “This multi-device ownership is just one factor contributing to our love of multi-tasking which is up again this year. Eighty five percent of respondents now multi-task while watching the home TV, compared with 79% last year. On average we do two additional activities while watching TV, but only 25% of multi-taskers are actually involved in activities that relate to the program they are watching!”

Magazines and news

There was a substantial fall in magazine subscriptions in this year’s survey, with just 15% of households purchasing them compared with 27% in 2012. Nevertheless 60% of respondents who have read a magazine in the last 12 months said they preferred printed copies.

Household ownership of newspaper subscriptions remained relatively stable, not falling any further this year - 21% of households purchased a print or digital news subscription. However, most of us (89%), are still unwilling to pay for online news, as social media begins to emerge as a more popular news source. Nine per cent of survey respondents reported social media as their most frequently used source of news, equal to print newspapers and radio news.


Harding said: “When it comes to advertising there are mixed fortunes for mass media. Television ads continue to have the biggest influence on purchase decisions (63% of respondents), but the influence of magazine and newspaper advertising fell further this year (from 48% to 41% and from 50% to 42% respectively).

“Online personalities and celebrity endorsements are new entrants to the list of influences on buying decisions this year. Both are rated as influential by 27% of respondents.”

She added that the impact of advertisements shown during or after online videos has increased with 40% of respondents now rating this format amongst the most influential on purchases. “Although really capturing the attention of consumers remains a challenge – 34% of survey respondents are looking for the skip button on ads when watching digital programing,” said Harding.

About the survey

  • The Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2015 provides a snapshot of the way consumers interact with media, entertainment, technologies and information. It outlines some of their preferences for the future.
  • Using self-reported survey data, the research was undertaken by an independent organisation between March and April 2015.
  • The online survey was delivered in four countries, with more than 2000 consumers surveyed in Australia. 
  • The other participating international markets were the US, China, Norway and the UK.
  • Identical questions were asked across all geographies and age groups, with some regionalisation to ensure local relevance. 
  • All data is weighted back to the most recent census data in each country.
  • This is the fourth year for this research in Australia, and where possible, comparisons are included to show how things have shifted over time. 
  • Where provided, growth rates reflect compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) over time. 
  • Deloitte’s telecommunications, media and technology experts, who work every day with leading Australian companies, added their insights and analysis to the report.
  • The demographics of the five groups surveyed are Millennials (trailing and leading 14-22; 23-28); Xers (29-45); Boomers (46-64); and Matures (65-75).

Please visit to download a copy of the report.

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