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Australians still spend more time watching TV than using the internet at home

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2003 to September 2016, average annual sample n = 53,001 Australians 14+.

Australians now spend more time using the internet during the week than watching television—but when it comes to entertainment at home, TV remains by far the most time-consuming media, Roy Morgan Research shows.

Australians (aged 14+) watch over 18 hours of television a week on average (1,095 minutes), compared with over 19 hours in total using the internet anywhere (1159 minutes).

However six hours of that internet time (31% of the total) includes time spent online at work, school or elsewhere (361 minutes) —places where TV isn’t often an entertainment option.

So to compare apples with apples, the average Australian actually spends almost five hours more watching TV than using the internet when at home (798 minutes). 

Time spent watching TV and using the internet at home and elsewhere

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2003 to September 2016, average annual sample n = 53,001 Australians 14+.

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australians’ average time spent watching television declined from 2004 to 2012, coinciding with the rapid growth in home internet and arrival of smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. However the time spent watching television has steadied over the last few years, suggesting we may be approaching a ‘base’ level of habitual TV viewership in the internet age—one that’s perhaps much higher than naysayers might have predicted.

“One big advantage for television is that it’s not a zero-sum game: extra internet time at home doesn’t have to mean less TV. Overall 42% of Australians agree they like to surf the internet while watching TV—including almost two-thirds of 14-34 year-olds. Naturally, multi-screening viewers spend more time than average using the internet at home—but across each age group, they also watch around an hour and a half more TV during the week.

There are only so many hours in the day (and that we get to enjoy at home). 37% of Australians agree that they like to shut themselves off from the rest of the world when they’re at home. Television networks and their advertisers continue to have the widest reach among Australians in the home.

“Roy Morgan’s Single Source research delivers trended cross-media data that can provide apples-for-apples comparisons of reach and time spent among a huge range of audience segments, including demographics, attitudes and lifestyles, and retail spending habits and intentions.”  

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%