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08 July 2013 Posted by 

Are you a digital omnivore like the Millennials?

By Kate Hill
Deloitte Private, Western Sydney

IF like me you often sit in front of the TV at home and use a smartphone or tablet to catch up on email, update your LinkedIn profile, send a tweet or research your next holiday destination, then you are one of a growing group of digital omnivores.

It seems that multi-device consumption of media has finally come of age in Australia, according to the latest Deloitte State of the Media Democracy* survey of more than 2,000 Australians between the ages of 14 and 75.

More than a quarter of Australians own a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone (28%) and we multitask with them.

This was one of the key findings of this second annual survey into how we consume our media. It found that TV, tablet, mobile and social use is converging and Australians are tending to use all their screens and devices at once.

From personal experience it used to be just my teenage daughters who would be “watching” TV, texting friends and surfing the internet all at the same time, but now it seems we are all doing it (actually maybe not my digital dinosaur husband – although even he has a smart phone these days!) 

Significantly 71% of us are multi-tasking while watching live TV, which for 63% of respondents remains our preferred form of entertainment across all age groups. According to the Deloitte survey Australians’ next preferred source of media entertainment to live TV is the Internet (44%), followed by listening to music (37%).

Given Australian consumers’ capability and capacity for convergence, media companies are now considering content strategies that are platform, device and distribution neutral.

Extension strategies from TV as the preferred source of entertainment, to the 14 to 28 year old Millennials’ preferred entertainment device (78%) - their smartphones - are also key.

Now this is a trend I can DEFINITELY see in my household.

The media industry is investing in smartphone and tablet apps that are useful to customers ‘on the go’- replicating the success of mobile banking with 30% of survey respondents across all ages now using their mobile for banking at least weekly.

Another key finding this year is that the use of social media and networking tools is at scale. Almost half of all Australian respondents update their social network profiles i.e. Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn at least five to seven days a week.

This reliance on social networking tools is challenging customer and content strategies for both media organisations and consumer businesses more broadly. How we use social media continues to evolve with multi-tasking behaviours.

As consumers seek a greater connection with the media, the talent in the media and each other, almost one third of Millennials (14-28) are using social networks whilst watching TV, which is likely to include connecting with others regarding a show.

If you watch any of the primetime reality programs or even the more cerebral Q&A panel discussion from the ABC, you will notice the promotion of #hashtags for engaging with the collective conversation that is taking place somewhere in the ‘twitterverse’.

Using social channels as a source of information and recommendations for advertising is also gaining traction.

More than half (55%) of all respondents find online reviews influential, with 34% viewing social media as an important tool to learn about products and services.

However, the role of social media is still playing out in advertising. It appears to be effective in driving product awareness, but not necessarily conversion.

Almost 80% of all Australian survey respondents report that social media has a low influence on their buying decisions.

Search is the most effective form of online advertising and social media is emerging as being critical for driving awareness.

Given the growing number of social media channels available to customers – it is really tough to work out what to select and how to take advantage of the power of online reviews and recommendations.

This cultural and technology driven shift is important to every business who wants to reach and engage with consumers.

Hopefully it can help to inform your advertising, marketing or brand building decisions and ensure you maximise the return on investments you might make.

Alternatively, it might just help to explain why the Millennials in your household manage to operate so many devices at the same time and still claim to be listening to what you are saying about cleaning their room!

* Deloitte State of Media Democracy was released on 12 June 2013 more information can be found at http://www.deloitte.com/au/mediademocracy

Kate Hill is a partner based at Deloitte’s Western Sydney office in Parramatta. Contact: 02 9840 7049 or email: khill@deloitte.com.au



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