Smartphone Now Dominant Screen in Australia, but Consumers Remain More Favourable Toward TV Advertising

New 30 Country Study from Millward Brown Identifies Multiscreening Opportunity for Marketers

Research released globally today has found that Australian’s spend more time using their smartphone than watching TV and that only 11 percent of multi-screen use is actually “meshed” (the use of a TV and a second screen for related content).  The findings, which come from Millward Brown’s 2014 AdReaction Report examined multiscreen use and behavior across 30 countries and explored consumer receptivity to advertising on TV, smartphones, laptops and tablets.  The findings of the extensive study provide detailed insights to local, pan-regional and global marketing professionals to help them better connect with their audience and brand growth.

The report also noted that the average multiscreen user in Australia consumes six and a half hours of screen media each day, of which 113 minutes is simultaneous consumption of another screen, resulting in a typical daily screen time of just under five hours (or 285 minutes).  

Smartphones account for 33 percent or 132 minutes of the daily screen time, which is less than the global average of 147 minutes.  By comparison TV accounts for 32 percent or 125 minutes which is more than global average of 113 minutes.  Laptops account for 26 percent or 102 minutes, less than global average of 108 minutes; and Tablets for 9 percent of daily screen time or 37 minutes, which is less than the global average of 50 minutes.

Significantly for Australian marketers, just 11 percent of consumers simultaneous screen time use is “meshed” (the use of a TV and a second screen for related content) which is well below the global average of 14 per cent.  By comparison 28 percent of consumers “stack” their viewing -  the use of a TV and second screen for unrelated content.  This is well above the global average of 22 per cent. At 60 percent of screen time, “shifting” among individual screens throughout the day remains the dominant form of screen use.

“The research provides valuable insights for Australian marketers who are under increasing pressure to account to the C-Suite level for every marketing dollar spent” said Mark Henning, Head of Media and Digital, Africa, Middle East & Asia Pacific (AMAP). “All marketers know their consumers are spending more and more time multiscreening but detailed information as to precisely how they are using these screens is required to successfully plan and execute synergistic multiscreen campaigns. These results show that Australians are comfortable switching between screens but that they require compelling reasons to mesh content.”
The study also found that whilst receptivity to advertising is higher for TV than for ads on digital screens, receptivity across all screens in Australia is markedly lower than the global average. For example, TV receptivity 45% (vs Global 56%), Laptop-PC 27% (vs Global 39%), Smartphone 22% (Global 38%), and Tablet 22% (Global 37%).
In line with the global trend, TV is generally more of a start point for consumption in Australia with digital devices generally used to continue or complete tasks. Multi-screen sequences are more likely to start on TV and continue on a smartphone, and this pairing is above the global average in Australia, with laptop to smartphone shifting also more common than in other markets.

Specific to multiscreen marketing opportunities, AdReaction found that consumers are most receptive to micro-video; TV ads with interactivity; and TV ads promoting mobile apps, Facebook pages and websites. Marketing that delivers more entertainment and rewards are generally preferred over multiscreen campaigns which simply offer more information.

“Understanding the time spent interaction between and receptivity to advertising across different screens in each market is critical for marketers” noted Mark Henning, Head of Media and Digital, Africa, Middle East & Asia Pacific (AMAP). “With consumers less receptive than the global average to advertising on any screen, it is imperative for Australian brands to find entertaining and useful ways to deliver their message across multiple screens.”

The global press release can be found at


About AdReaction 2014
For AdReaction 2014 Millward Brown surveyed, via smartphone or tablet, more than 12,000 16-44 year old multiscreen users across 30 countries. Multiscreen users were defined as people who own, or have access to, a TV and a smartphone and/or a tablet. In Australia, Millward Brown surveyed 269 multiscreen users.

AdReaction studies have been conducted since 2001, delivering insights on consumers’ perceptions of advertising, particularly digital formats.

The study addresses key questions facing marketers, including:

  1. What is the marketing opportunity in the multiscreen world?
  2. What role does each screen play in a media plan and how receptive are consumers to advertising by screen? 
  3. What are the best practices for deploying multiscreen advertising to drive brand growth?

About Millward Brown
Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specializing in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and brand equity research. Millward Brown helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions.
Specialist global practices include Millward Brown Digital (a leader in digital effectiveness and intelligence), Firefly Millward Brown (our global qualitative network), a Neuroscience Practice (using neuroscience to optimize the value of traditional research techniques), and Millward Brown Optimor (a strategy consultancy helping companies maximize financial returns on brand and marketing investments). Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of Kantar, WPP’s data investment management division. Learn more at