- In the week leading up to June 2020, ACMA’s report found that, on average, Australian adults watched a total of 28.5 hours of TV and online content.
- When it comes to video streaming platforms, Netflix was the biggest player
- As for devices, ACMA reported that mobile phones were the most popular streaming device used at home in 2020, followed by laptops and smart TVs.
With lockdowns implemented due to COVID-19, we were all forced to stay indoors until health organizations are able to understand the virus’ behavior and figure out how it could be stopped. The good thing is, thanks to technology, we are able to carry on with our daily routine even while at home. Homes have turned to offices, classrooms, and entertainment centres. It comes to no surprise that home internet usage skyrocketed not just in Australia, but worldwide.
But what does this mean for specific internet activities, like video streaming?
Well, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, or ACMA, has compiled data confirming that, last year, Australians began spending more time using streaming services than they did any other year. While free-to-air and pay TV hours also increased, since those were among the main sources of entertainment during lockdowns, they still pale in comparison to streaming services. Not to mention they’ve both declined in use when compared to data from 2018 - just two years earlier.
According to the ACMA’s Communications and Media in Australia series of reports, catch-up TV viewing, online streaming video on demand (SVOD), and content on other online platforms all showed notable increases in use, measured in viewing hours - but not just in 2020. Use of these platforms all saw an increase in use in 2019, too.
By the Numbers
In the week leading up to June 2020, ACMA’s report found that, on average, Australian adults watched a total of 28.5 hours of TV and online content. In 2018, they only watched an average of 25 hours a week. In that same period, watching online video content took up 54% of those hours, compared to just 36% in 2018.
In that same period, Australians logged an average of 1.9 viewing hours for SVOD in 2018. This went up to 2.3 hours in 2019, and increased again to 3 hours in 2020. As for free-to-air TV, adults averaged 10.6 hours in that same period of time in 2018. However, use went down to 8.6 hours in 2019, and saw an increase in 2020 to 9.7 hours.
Given all that, it’s clear to see what option Aussies preferred, as far as video streaming is concerned.
Chosen Platforms and Devices
When it comes to video streaming platforms, Netflix was the biggest player; 61% of participants in ACMA’s survey have used the service since January 2021. Youtube was a close second, with 55% of participants using the service, then Facebook with 31%. Nine’s Stan service came in fourth with 20%. That platform beat Foxtel, Disney+, as well as Amazon Prime Video; 16% of participants used Foxtel, while 15% and 10% of participants used Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, respectively.
As for devices, ACMA reported that mobile phones were the most popular streaming device used at home in 2020, followed by laptops and smart TVs.
Only time will tell if these numbers will change in some way in 2021, not to mention how. In any case, the ACMA’s next report will be an interesting look at what Australians turn to for entertainment in their free time.