TV, mobile viewing on the rise

The rise of handheld devices has not affected the traditional television watching market as the free-to-air and pay TV viewing audience is up 7 per cent this year, the industry says.

Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) chief executive Petra Buchanan says the industry has found that the use of handheld devices was in addition to the time people spent in front of the more traditional television screen.

"What we're actually seeing is that more than ever before, consumers are still in love with the box," Buchanan said.

"They love sitting in their lounge room."

ASTRA is the industry body for the pay TV sector, and industry participants are expected to discuss the state-of-play and future of the sector at an ASTRA conference in Sydney this week.

Buchanan said terrestrial (or free-to-air) and pay television viewing this year was up 7 per cent nationally.

"So all TV viewing is increasing," she said.

"Even though there are these new multiple ways, what we're seeing is it is happening in addition to, not at the expense of traditional television viewing.

"They're [viewers are] spending more time in front of the traditional television screens and the time they're spending on these other devices is on top of that," Buchanan said.

A recent ASTRA online survey found that 35 per cent of people under the age of 25 had watched subscription television content on iPads or iPhones.

"They're individuals who would be prone to consuming media and have that attitude.

"But from our standpoint, we wanted to get a better understanding of how adept viewers were and where their demands were in terms of all of these new and great devices that are out there," Buchanan said.

"More and more of these devices are making people look at the content that has to play in them quite differently.

"I think it's opening them up to think about content in a different way."

She said while young people were more inclined to watch subscription television on a mobile device, the older demographic was less inclined to do that.

"The older viewers are still quite savvy about their media, but they're probably just not moving as quickly as the youth market."

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