Roy Morgan Research
March 31, 2018

Australians prefer radio for breakfast, TV after dinner

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 7555

Most of us watch, read, listen to and communicate differently at the start of the day versus the end of the day, and today there are so many choices, including social media and games.

Overall media consumption is higher after dinner compared to breakfast time with 88% of Australians consuming media after dinner compared to 75% at breakfast time.

New research investigating the media consumption preferences of Australians highlights some significant differences between which media we choose at breakfast time compared with our preferences after dinner.

Australians at breakfast

The clear breakfast favourite is radio 27.9% of Australians prefer to listen to radio at breakfast cf. 3.6% after dinner. The other media preferred at breakfast time is reading a print or online newspaper – 16.1% of Australians read a newspaper at breakfast cf. 2.5% after dinner. Importantly 13.8% of Australians read print newspapers which are preferred to online newspapers read by 9.4% of Australians (some read both print and online).

Australian Weekday Media Preferences – Breakfast v After Dinner

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: Interviews with 15,220 Australians aged 14+ (Jan. Dec. 2017). *Playing electronic games could be by console, computer, mobile phone or tablet.

Australians after dinner

For all other media types, a higher proportion of people prefer to consume after dinner, but relativities vary depending on the medium consumed:

• TV viewing is preferred by 58.2% of Australians at dinner time compared to 21.9% of Australians at breakfast time;

• Online activity is preferred by 38.5% of Australians after dinner compared to 24.7% of Australians who like to go online at breakfast. The relativities are somewhat closer if we consider social media consumption – 28.2% after dinner cf. 20.9% at breakfast; but about the same difference for all other internet use – 34.8% after dinner cf. 20.7% at breakfast;

• 21% of Australians like to read a book after dinner but only 5.2% do so at breakfast;

• Playing games on a console, computer, mobile phone or tablet is much more strongly preferred after dinner with 18.1% of Australians compared to 6.2% at breakfast time.

Older generations love breakfast radio, younger generations prefer the Internet

The new research on media preferences by time of day also provides deep insights with how different demographic groups are similar or different in what media they prefer to consume and when they prefer to consume it. It shows clear momentum of the internet with the younger generation.

The chart below illustrates how the different generations – from Pre-Boomers to Generation Z – prefer the same or different media at breakfast time. We can also observe how similar or different generation media preferences are at other times of the day including after dinner.

Overall consumption of media at breakfast time declines in younger generations born after 1960. Over 80% of Pre-Boomers and Baby Boomers consume media at breakfast time compared to 77% of Generation X, 72% of Generation Y and just under 70% of Generation Z.

Breakfast media preferences by generation

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: Interviews with 15,220 Australians aged 14+ (Jan. Dec. 2017). *Playing electronic games could be by console, computer, mobile phone or tablet.

Breakfast media preferences across the generations: 

• Decreasing preference across generations for:

Newspaper readership – 28.7% of Pre-Boomers to 10% of Generation Z;

Listening to the radio – 38.4% of Pre-Boomers to 14.4% of Generation Z;

Watching TV – Pre-Boomers are slightly down on 23% relative to Baby Boomers on 28.1% and Generation X on 25.2% which declines further amongst the younger Generation Y on 18.3% and Generation Z on 15.8%;

Increasing preference across generations for:

Using Social Media – 5.5% of Pre-Boomers to 33.1% of Generation Z;

Using the internet other than Social Media – 7.3% of Pre-Boomers to 31.9% of Generation Z;

Playing games on a console, computer, mobile phone or tablet – 3.2% of Pre-Boomers to 10.7% of Generation Z.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says understanding how diverse consumer groups engage with media at different times of the day is vital to properly targeting advertising to reach consumers in a cost-effective way:

Block Quote

“Combined with the richness of other Roy Morgan Single Source data the media preferences information can be used to create an in-depth understanding of which media resonate most favourably among your intended communication targets.

“These sorts of analyses give valuable insights into media receptivity similarities and differences both within and between selected target markets.

“Exploring media preferences in detail is an essential input for developing effective media strategies to reach existing and potential customers.

“It’s so easy to assume the ‘traditional media’ belong in the past. This new research, that specifically focuses on social media and new digital media within the total media context shows clearly that TV is still the preferred media after dinner; radio rules at breakfast. However the overall trends are all foreshadowing a move to a more digital media world.”

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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
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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