Most of us still watch TV the traditional way and few download illegally, survey shows

Shortland Street star Frankie Adams. Most viewers still watch such shows in traditional ways.

Areport into media consumption has concluded that Kiwis are sticking to traditional TV viewing despite a big push towards digital.

New Zealand on Air commissioned Where Are the Audiences, and says it will be useful for established media firms as they pump more resources into their digital arms.

It has been released amid increased pressure for the funding agency to give more taxpayer funding to new digital ventures a trend that is forcing it to spread its funding more thinly across a wider variety of media.


The report, carried out by Colmar Brunton, found more New Zealanders tuned into traditional platforms of TV and radio more often and longer than they did for alternatives, with 95 per cent of the 1400 people surveyed saying they watched linear TV (time and channel-based TV) during the week.

That compared with 29 per cent of people who watched local TV on demand and 7 per cent of people who said they streamed, downloaded or torrented TV shows from overseas websites.

Eighty-three per cent of people said they listened to live local radio.

New Zealanders watched on average a total of 162 minutes of linear TV a day, and listened to 107 minutes of broadcast radio.

The next highest time spent on any one media was listening to music via CDs or iPods (43 minutes per day), online streaming of music (23 minutes), and online video such as YouTube (18 minutes).

TV One saw the highest daily reach of Kiwis among the linear channels (48 per cent), followed by TV3 (35 per cent), TV2 (27 per cent), Prime (15 per cent) and Sky Sport channels (combined 14 per cent). The most popular on-demand site, TVNZ, reached 7 per cent of New Zealanders each day.

There were some significant generational, technological and ethnic differences in behaviour, Colmar Brunton found.

Media consumers typically started the day with radio and newspapers while television took over at 6pm.

Music was taking off as a share of total media consumption.

But despite concerns about unauthorised distribution such as illegal downloads of content very few people did that frequently, the report found.

The good news for digital is that the report found that linking digital with mainstream or linear services was good at extending the life of content.

Perhaps the most notable ethnic difference in media consumption is in online video, such as YouTube, which reaches the same number of Asian people each day as traditional linear television (62 per cent).

This is the only sub-group in the population among whom linear TV is not clearly most popular.

Asian New Zealanders are also more likely than average to consume online TV such as Netflix and Hulu online and use New Zealand radio and music streaming services.

Read the full report here: