Multi-device consumption has come of age: Australians are digital omnivores


13 June 2013: Convergence and multi-device consumption is coming of age in Australia according to Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy survey of more than 2000 Australians across four generations.

The key findings of this second annual survey into how we consume our media show that TV, tablet, mobile and social use is converging and Australians are tending to use all their screens and devices at once.

Deloitte Media Partner Clare Harding said: “We are digital omnivores. More than a quarter of Australians own a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone (28%) and we multitask with them.

“Significantly 71% of us are multi-tasking while watching live TV, which for 63% of respondents remains our preferred form of entertainment across all age groups.  

“But for how much longer? And do we know whether we are multi-tasking while watching TV – or is the TV on in the background while we are doing other things?” Ms Harding asked.

According to the Deloitte survey Australians’ next preferred source of media entertainment to live TV is the Internet (44%), followed by listening to music (37%).

Anywhere, anytime, anyhow strategies are now

“Given Australian consumers’ capability and capacity for convergence, media companies are now considering content strategies that are platform, device and distribution neutral,” said Ms Harding.

“Extension strategies from TV as the preferred source of entertainment, to the 14 to 28 year old Millennials’ preferred entertainment device (78%) - their smartphones - are also key.

“The industry is investing in smartphone and tablet apps that are useful to customers ‘on the go’- replicating the success of mobile banking with 30% of survey respondents across all ages now using their mobile for banking at least weekly.

“They are also trying to better understand what media we use for what, when, and how. And how many at the same time - two or three screens?

“It is important for the industry to act now to learn more about customers through the collection and analysis of customer data, the observation of consumer activity in digital environments, and to continue to develop loyalty through the content, brands and experiences that they connect with - and those that connect with them,” Ms Harding said.

Social is at scale

Nicola Alcorn, Deloitte Partner-elect and an author of the report said: “Another key finding this year is that social is at scale. Almost half of all Australian respondents update their social network sites at least five to seven days a week. This reliance on social is challenging customer and content strategies for both media organisations and consumer businesses more broadly.

“How we use social media continues to evolve with multi-tasking behaviours. As consumers seek a greater connection with the media, the talent in the media and each other, almost one third of Millennials are using social networks whilst watching TV, which is likely to include connecting with others regarding a show.”

New revenues not just greater reach

Ms Alcorn pointed out that the using social channels as a source of information and recommendations for advertising is also gaining traction. “Social will continue to evolve into true social commerce,” she said.

“More than half (55%) of all  respondents find online reviews influential, with 34% viewing social media as an important tool to learn about products and services,” she said.

“However the role of social media is still playing out in advertising. It appears to be effective in driving product awareness, but not necessarily conversion. Almost 80% of all Australian survey respondents report that social media has a low influence on their buying decisions.

“Search is the most effective form of online advertising and social media is emerging as being critical for driving awareness,” she said.

“At the same time more than 79% of Australian respondents are not comfortable with having their online activity tracked and would not be willing to provide personal information, even if it meant more targeted offers.” Adding that globally, Australians are among those most averse to being tracked online.

Nicola Alcorn said: “Given the growing number of social media channels available to customers – it is really tough to work out what to select and how to take advantage of the power of online reviews and recommendations.

“For advertisers the conundrum is more about how best to sell integrated media in a seamless way and use consumer data to be a source of new revenues - not just reach. And for content developers and rights holders - as the new entrants threaten incumbents – the issue is about how to keep one step ahead of the game.”

More media facts

  • This year in our State of Media Democracy Survey the shift in Australia to digital is more marked
  • However last year almost half of the 2000 respondents preferred hard copy print to digital mediums. This year it had fallen by 11% to 37%.
  • When it comes to the news, the printed newspaper is still favoured by Australian readers over any other format.
  • As might be expected older generations are most loyal to the traditional format, with 62% of Matures and 47% of Boomers respondents favouring the printed hard copy.
  • Magazines continue to fare somewhat better, enjoying a higher preference for printed hardcopies over digital methods with 75% of all Australian survey respondents favouring the printed hard copy format.
  • Traditional print only subscriptions are still preferred by Australian survey respondents - more so than digital or bundled subscriptions - although most households have no print subscriptions at all.
  • Of those respondents with a bundled print and digital newspaper subscription, 67% considered that they were paying for the print version and getting the online version ‘for free’. This highlights the ongoing challenge for print media for consumers to put a value on digital news content.

Internet use

  • Search engine use is the most common online activity for all demographics except Matures – 83% of all Australians surveyed search online on at least a weekly basis and 58% do so daily.
  • Search, news consumption and emailing friends and family and online behaviours are fairly consistent across age groups. Younger age groups rank social networking in their top five online activities, while older age groups are more likely to use email as a mechanism to connect with friends and family.
  • 54% of Australians (including 73% of Trailing Millennials) would pay more money for faster Internet and 59% would view more videos online if their Internet connection speed were faster. Compared to global data, Australians have one of the highest percentages of respondents willing pay more for faster Internet connections.
  • Australian respondents are watching less TV online and seeking less personal interest information online.

About the survey

  • The Deloitte State of Media Democracy survey provides a ‘reality check’ on how consumers between the ages of 14 and 75 want to receive their entertainment, media devices, internet, advertising, newspapers and magazines.
  • It provides unique demographic insights into how consumers are currently interacting with technology, purchasing products and responding to TV and online advertising.
  • Undertaken by an independent research organisation appointed by Deloitte between December 2012 and January 2013, the survey employed an online methodology to obtain usage and preference data from consumers in ten countries, including more than 2000 Australian consumers.  
  • The survey is run concurrently in 10 countries – Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Spain, UK and US.
  • This is the global survey’s seventh year and Australia’s second.
  • Additional insights for this report were derived from Deloitte’s own practitioners advising clients in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector on a daily basis.
  • The demographics of the groups surveyed are Millennials (trailing and leading 14-22; 23-28); Xers (29-45); Boomers (46-64); Matures (65-75)

Please visit to download a copy of the report.

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