Sunday, April 14, 2024

Free-to-Air TV Audience Increases for First Time in 5 Years

The ACMA has released its annual How we watch and listen to content interactive report for 2022, which tracks broadcast and online content consumption trends in Australia.

It shows that free-to-air (FTA) TV, including catch-up TV viewing in Australia, increased for the first time since data was collected in 2017.

The number of adults who reported watching any FTA TV in a given week increased from 64 percent in 2021 to 70 percent in 2022. This includes 56 percent who watched FTA TV, excluding catch-up TV, and 38 percent for FTA catch-up and streaming services.

Paid subscription streaming services continued to dominate viewing preferences, despite long-term growth plateauing in 2022. In 2022, 59 percent of adults streamed video content through a paid subscription streaming service in a given week, compared to 58 percent in 2021. This is up from just 29 percent in 2017.

For the first time, we have started tracking viewing of user-generated and short-form online videos such as Tik Tok and Instagram Reels. This format is viewed almost predominantly by 18 to 24-year-olds, who spent on average 7.1 hours watching content in this format in a given week in 2022 – more than any other format, including paid subscription streaming services such as Netflix.

When it comes to listening habits, broadcast radio remained the most popular form of audio content, with 75 percent of Australians tuning in during a given week in 2022. Music streaming services continued to rise, up to 70 percent in 2022 from 67 percent in 2021.

The report also tracks how Australians access news content. In 2022, the majority of Australians (81 percent) accessed news from online sources in a given week, more so than free-to-air, catch-up and pay TV (67 percent), radio and podcast (44 percent) or newspapers (23 percent).

Despite the demand for online news, free-to-air TV was still a leading source of news and was cited as the main source of news by the highest proportion of those surveyed (28 percent).

The report is part of the ACMA’s Communications and media in Australia series, which tracks patterns of consumer communications and media use over time.


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