UOW’s Associate Professor Shahriar Akter explains our media habits after new Roy Morgan research

EXPERT: UOW’s Associate Professor Shahriar Akter says digital media – such as Facebook, online news sites and streaming – will soon be more popular than traditional media, and it’s driven by advertising. Picture: Georgia Matts
EXPERT: UOW’s Associate Professor Shahriar Akter says digital media – such as Facebook, online news sites and streaming – will soon be more popular than traditional media, and it’s driven by advertising. Picture: Georgia Matts

We love listening to the radio at breakfast time and flicking on the television after dinner according to new research, but one Wollongong academic says that could soon change.

A recent Roy Morgan poll investigated the weekday media consumption preferences of 15,220 Australians. Their findings highlight significant differences between which media we choose to eat our toast to compared with our preferences for dessert.

The results found the favourite in the morning was radio (preferred by 27.9 per cent), ahead of watching TV (21.9 per cent), using the Internet (24.7 per cent) and then reading a newspaper (16.1 per cent).

After dinner it was the small screen which more than half of respondents preferred (58.2 per cent) followed by the Internet (38.5 per cent), reading a book (21 per cent) then playing electronic games (18.1 per cent). Radio was preferred after dinner by just 3.6 per cent of respondents.

“A lot of people are commuting [in the morning]. They are turning on their radios, they’re very much into their local content,” said Associate Professor Shahriar Akter from the University of Wollongong’s Sydney Business School.

“But after dinner it’s a different ball-game because now we have many other channels especially the rise of Internet - because we can target consumers precisely.”

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.

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.

Dr Akter said advertisers – which generate a large portion of revenue for media companies – were choosing online mediums first before more traditional forms because of the ability to target their ads to specific consumers. He said this will see online media eventually dominate consumption.

He explained every time someone uses an Internet based application – they ‘like’ something, write a post, search in Google – they leave a “footprint” which can be tracked by advertisers.

“I think by the next five years there will be a tremendous rise of online based media channels … because every mobile phone is a super computer in their pockets,” he said.

“Every time we log into the Internet … we leave our footprint and that leaves a pattern. So these online channels are smart enough to identify that pattern, these advertisers match that pattern and post relevant content in our news feed.”

Overall, the Roy Morgan data revealed using the internet and social media was by far a preferred pastime at the breakfast table over traditional forms of media for anyone born after 1976. While the younger the audience the less likely they were to listen to breakfast radio.

Meantime overall media consumption was higher after dinner compared to breakfast time with 88 per cent of the sample consuming media in the evening compared to 75 per cent in the morning.

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 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.

MORE STATISTICS*

Decreasing preference across generations for:

  • Newspaper readership – 28.7% of Pre-Boomers (pre 1946) to 10% of Generation Z (1991-2005);
  • Listening to the radio – 38.4% of Pre-Boomers to 15.4% of Generation Z;
  • Watching TV – Pre-Boomers are slightly down on 23% relative to Baby Boomers (1946-1960) on 28.1% and Generation X (1961-1975) on 25.2% which declines further amongst the younger Generation Y (1976-1990) 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.

Source: Roy Morgan