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Communications and media in Australia: Trends and developments in viewing and listening 2020–21

The way Australians access media content has changed dramatically over the last few years. The shift toward digital platforms has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with on-demand video and audio platforms becoming more widely used. Fewer Australians are now accessing traditional broadcast media.

This report explores the Australian broadcasting and digital media landscape in 2020–21. Drawing on industry data and primary consumer research, we highlight the key developments in how media infrastructure and services are provided, taken up and used. It is part of the Communications and media in Australia series.

Key highlights at June 2021

  • More of us watched online subscription content (58%) than traditional broadcast free-to-air television (54%).
  • More Australian adults (37%) also watched catch-up TV for free-to-air programs compared to a year ago (26%).  
  • More than a quarter of online adults (28%) watched 5 or more online services, up from 1% in 2019.
  • Netflix was the dominant subscription streaming platform, watched by two-thirds (66%) of adults.
  • Mobile phones were the most popular device used to stream video content at home (49%), closely followed by smart TVs (47%).
  • Radio listenership declined to 77% (from 83% in 2020), but remained the most popular way for Australians to listen to audio content.
  • Over two-thirds (67%) of Australians streamed music, most commonly using Spotify (63%).

View our associated research Communications and media in Australia: How we watch and listen to content.

Read our accompanying paper, What audiences want – Audience expectations for content safeguards.

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