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By lifestyle and values
free-to-air viewing

Commercial free-to-air television viewing based on audience lifestyle and values, 2006–2017

Next update July 2019

Research into lifestyle, behaviour, attitudes and values (known as psychographics) provides a way of grouping and analysing audiences other than by demographic variables such as age or where they live.

Roy Morgan Research identifies ten audience ‘values segments’ and their television viewing patterns through surveys. For further information, see About the data.

Based on these surveys, the vast majority of people – regardless of segment – watched some commercial free-to-air TV on a normal weekday.

Medium-level viewers were, on average across the segments, the largest proportion of people who watched commercial free-to-air TV between 2006 and 2017, followed by light-level viewers, with heavy-level viewers representing the smallest proportion overall.

In 2017, heavy-level viewers, defined as people watching four or more hours of commercial free-to-air-TV per day, accounted for 14.3 per cent of all people surveyed. Between 2006 and 2017, the dominant trend among the segments has been downward with only Basic Needs and Traditional Family Life showing an upward trend. Despite a dip in 2014, Real Conservatism has remained relatively static, although it has dropped below the segment's twelve-year average. The heaviest watchers in 2017 were in the Basic Needs segment, where 37.6 per cent of people watched four or more hours per day. People in the Socially Aware segment have consistently been the least likely to be heavy-level viewers.

Medium-level viewers are people who watch between two and four hours of commercial free-to-air-TV per day and they represent 31.0 per cent of all people surveyed in 2017. With the exception of Real Conservatism, the number of medium-level viewers has fallen below each segment's twelve-year average, the greatest declines being in the Look at Me, Something Better, Visible Achievement and Young Optimism segments. Real Conservatism continues to have the highest proportion of medium-level viewers, and has remained relatively unchanged between 2006 and 2017.

Light-level viewers, people who watch less than two hours of commercial free-to-air TV per day, accounted for 37.3 per cent of all people surveyed in 2017. The trend between 2006 and 2017 has been mixed among light-level viewers, with the Look at Me, Conventional Family Life, Something Better, Visible Achievement and A Fairer Deal segments all trending upwards over the last twelve years. The Socially Aware segment had the greatest proportion of light-level viewers over this period, with an average of 45.5 per cent.

People who do not watch any commercial free-to-air TV account for 17.5 per cent of all people surveyed in 2017, and this group has grown steadily since 2006. While all segments have experienced a growing proportion of viewers who are not watching commercial television, the greatest change has been in the Young Optimism segment, which has increased by 24.0 per cent over the twelve-year period.