Nielsen multi-screen video consumption report shows Kiwis still favour TV

  • Didge
  • March 25, 2015
  • Holly Bagge
Nielsen multi-screen video consumption report shows Kiwis still favour TV

Despite the rapid progression and expansion of all that is digital, with even five-year-olds owning iPads these days, television still remains the most dominant form of video consumption in New Zealand, according to a New Zealand multi-screen report issued by Nielsen.

The report shows that television isn’t only the most popular video-viewing platform, but that its use is also increasing.

“In a multi-device home, the TV set is the primary viewing platform," says the report. "The tablet becomes the choice for individual viewing when other household members have the large screen or there is a programme of interest online, and the smartphone is for entertainment when out and about.”

The report also says, and somewhat unsurprisingly, that with additional screens at our disposal the amount of video content New Zealanders are viewing has increased over time: “Over 3.5 million New Zealanders (92 percent of the population) watch an average of 20.5 hours of broadcast television each week (both free-to-air and subscription channels) on their in-home TV sets this increases to 95 percent of the population over a month. With 97 percent of households having a TV set, it is the most popular technology to watch video.”


While 91 percent of all in-home television watching is live, as a programme goes to air, new technology allows us to watch content when it’s more convenient for us with nine percent of all viewing being in playback mode. 

“… [This refers to instances] when viewers watch broadcast TV material they have recorded within seven days of original broadcast time using a device such as a PVR (Personal Video Recorder). This number increases to 11 percent for the key advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. Peak viewing also sees increases in the amount of time-shifted viewing taking place.”

The results show there has been an increase in video viewing since 2012, which saw seven percent of 25-54s watching videos in the “All day viewing” category, which has now jumped to 11 percent in 2015. During peak viewing time the percentage of viewers has jumped from nine percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2015, however viewership is even higher for those who own a PVR video recording device, which half of New Zealand homes now have, according to the report.

The report iterates that New Zealanders’ increase in the use of television averages out at 15.9 percent. 


“Over the past three years, the amount of time spent using TV screens for non-broadcast use (‘other screen use’) has increased. This reflects take-up of a range of devices that can be attached to TV sets, including games consoles, PVRs and online services, as well as the increasing penetration of TV’s with the capability to connect with the internet: now an estimated ten percent of homes. However, such secondary TV screen use has not caused live or time-shifted viewing to decline of note in the last two years. Moreover, people are spending more time with their TV sets overall, and using their TV for a growing number of purposes.”

Other uses for television screen usage include gaming, viewing internet-delivered services services and browsing, or watching time-shifted television they have recorded beyond seven days from original broadcast, “[for example], when people use their TV screens for purposes other than watching live or time-shifted broadcast television.”

The report also found the total viewing population within one week is over 3.7 million people, or 96 percent of the population.

In terms video-viewing by device, “half of all New Zealanders (1.9 million) watch online video content each week, and they view an average of 7.3 hours per week. However, this is still considerably less than viewing via television sets (population and time spent).”

And unsurprisingly under 45s are the main group to consume video content online. 

“There is a vast gap between generations for consuming video content online. Under-45-year-olds are more than twice as likely as someone over 54 years old to watch video online, with a lesser gap for those in the 45-54 year old age group. 56 percent of the main trading demographic for the advertising industry, 25-54 year olds, watch video content online in any given week.”

However, while younger viewers are more likely to consume video content via their smartphones, 35-44 year-olds are ahead of 25-34 year-olds for using tablets to stream content, which are now owned by 26 percent of New Zealanders.

Fifty-nine percent of New Zealanders now have smartphones and they are used by one in five New Zealanders to watch video content online.


However, the report adds that only 36 percent of people 55 years old and over own a smartphone, which is almost half the figure of 71 percent recorded with those aged between 25 and 54.  

The report says televisions with the capability to connect to the internet are now in 10 percent of homes. 

“The transition to smart TVs is still in its infancy with four percent using them to watch online video, but this small group already average 4.5 hours a week viewing on the device. We expect this to grow as technology becomes cheaper, broadband faster and more online video content available. With longer-form content generally preferred to be viewed on a larger screen, smart TVs could lessen usage of the tablet for in-home programme viewing in the future, bringing TV sets in the home even closer to 100 percent penetration.”

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