By Murray Love, Multi Channel Network Insights and Analytics Director

The concept of the connected Australian home truly became a reality this year - with Australians taking advantage of multiple viewing points such as IP enabled iQHD set top boxes, large LED LCD Smart TVs, XBox and iPads. And of course last month saw the release of Foxtel GO - which provides premium Television content on the move.

Whilst not all Australians are equal in the multiscreen department, these uber connected homes are helping MCN identify exactly how Australians are likely to consume content across a range of different devices and in different spaces.

For example, do viewers sit on the couch and watch their iPad over the Television in their bedroom? Or do they watch pre-recorded content on the go rather than live?

What we know from numerous studies is that the take-up of multiple-device video consumption at home is really starting to gain momentum.

A recent OzTAM Multi-Screen Report, which provides a snapshot of the take-up of devices and video consumption across multiple screens, found that despite 95% of viewers accessing video content on the TV, 22% have tablets and over half of those aged 16+ have smartphones. Additionally, 18% possess Internet enabled TV's. MCN's Multiview found that the top quintile (20%) of most connected Foxtel homes, which includes iQ, have at least an iPad, smart phone, broadband or 3DTV.

Since OzTam started releasing this data in 2010, other TV screen usage has increased and for the first time this quarter, 18% of television is now considered non-broadcast viewing: game console use, DVD consumption and television content played back after 7 days from broadcast. Although this is a significant number, the actual figures are very different if you were to delve into particular viewer segments, particularly younger viewers. In some cases non-broadcast viewing can be double the total people average.

These figures offer us a preview of Australia's future viewing habits, and in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities of a tomorrow's connected home, we first need to understand what impact this will have on our viewers. Thankfully, the technology which underpins this evolution also provides a level of data on usage that was previously unimaginable. 

MCN's Multiview data, which provides granular insights of a 10,000 sample of different household characteristics, revealed that connected homes not only watch a greater range of channels each week, but they also engage with Interactive TV on average 25% more than any other homes. They watch 12% more News and Factual programming and watch an hour more Foxtel each day.

These are all real insights into the behaviour of our viewers, and we're only just scratching the surface. As we ponder the entertainment milestones of 2013, it is important to remember, what is 'groundbreaking' today becomes the accepted standard of tomorrow.

Thanks to the connected home, the spectrum of TV technology and TV viewing opportunities in Australia is now arguably the greatest it has ever been.

Source: Australian Multi Screen Report Q3 2012.
Source: Multiview, Sept - Nov 2012, Households who own an iPad/tablet or smartphone or broadband or a 3DTV versus all STV homes, interactive & live + interactive.