Radio streaming and podcasts on the increase: ACMA research

Australians use the internet most to email, do on-line banking, pay bills, get news & weather and check maps. Research released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority also found that 73% of Australian households now having access to the internet.

In a significant indicator for radio streaming and podcasting, the growing household adoption of broadband internet connections has increased since March 2003, with over 5 million households now connected to broadband. 32% of internet users had connections with average download speeds greater than 1.5 megabits per second.

12% of internet users listen to online radio and 27% download audio.

The research, presented in a report titled Telecommunications Today Report 6: Internet Activity and Content, examines consumer adoption of the internet and the impact this is having on the growth of the digital economy in Australia. The study found that, overall, household internet users are accessing the internet more frequently, with an increasing number recording ‘heavy’ use (8 or more times per week).

The use of the internet for online purchases is extensive, with 54% of internet users in the quarter ending March 2008 buying a product online, an increase of 8% from 2006.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman says one of the main changes to consumer behaviour as a result of the internet is the willingness of consumers to engage in commerce online:

“Paying bills, airline ticket purchases and accommodation bookings have become some of the most popular activities on the internet.

“The internet has also become a significant social medium with the majority of internet users nominating email and socialising as activities they perform online. Changes to social interaction have been identified with a large number of internet users participating and using social networking sites, instant messaging, blogs and VoIP as communication tools.”

Internet users report a reduction in their use of traditional forms of media for entertainment and information activities – such as watching television, listening to the radio and reading magazines and newspapers. The internet has enabled users to engage in viewing and listening activities online by streaming or downloading videos, podcasts, music and television.

* Internet users reported watching television less often¡ªnearly a quarter of household users now watch less television, with this proportion increasing since the quarter ending March 2006.

* Internet users now read magazines and newspapers less. In the quarter ending March 2008, 18% said they read magazines less often and 17 per cent read newspapers less often.

* Internet users now listen to the radio less often, with this proportion increasing since the quarter ending March 2006.

In France, the OECD reported that the number of people watching television or listening to the radio via a computer was increasing, especially in younger age groups. In Great Britain, between 2000 and 2006 there was an 18 per cent increase in the number of adults playing or downloading music and a 16 per cent increase in the number of adults listening to web radio or watching television on the internet.

To see the Internet report, click the link below.