Smartphones are now at the heart of Australian consumers’ digital experience, driving trends in media, entertainment and ecommerce.

Based on a 120-minute survey with a representative sample of over 1,000 Australians, The Telsyte Australian Digital Consumer Study 2020 brings together the collective knowledge of its industry analysts and proprietary databases to provide a detailed snapshot of the impact of technology in Australia.

Published annually since 2008, the study provides subscribers with insights on the state of technology adoption, digital demographics and reports on changing consumer lifestyles as a result of advances in computer and communications technologies.

Telsyte’s research shows smartphones have now become the main digital device for more than half (51 per cent) of Australians, with millions of Australians loyal to either their iPhones or Android smartphones.

This is driving an unprecedented boom in services and subscriptions based on mobile apps such as Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD), music, games, and ecommerce, the report said.

The study found the internet became “the main source of entertainment” for more than half (52 per cent) of Australians for the first time in 2019.

Additionally, the fast adoption of smart speakers and smartwatches is driving new customer engagements which are becoming important for businesses looking to target early adoptions.

This year’s study found Australian household had an average of 18.9 connected devices at the end of 2019, an increase from 17 in 2018.

Telsyte forecasts this to be greater than 30 devices by 2022 with growth being driven by Australians adopting energy and lighting smart devices, security devices such as cameras and other smart appliances such as smart speakers.

The study found the latest premium digital device adoption is being impacted by price rises, which is not being helped by the increasing cost of living in Australia.

“Longer product replacement cycles and rising prices are starting to dictate market trends with consumers looking for new features that justify the increases in costs,” said managing director Foad Fadaghi.

Cybercrime, social media & trust

Australians cybersecurity concerns are growing due to the rapid adoption of connected technologies and the shift to digital lifestyles, according to the study.

More than 1 in 4 Australians experienced some form of cybercrime in 2019, including account hacks, phishing, ransomware, identity theft and cyberbullying.

The study also found there are growing concerns among parents over the online privacy and safety of children. Parents are also less confident they have the knowledge to help their children to navigate safely online.

Growing uncertainties are taking its toll on consumer trust, which in Australian society seems to be impacting attitudes toward media and government.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of Australians agree to the statement “I trust less in the Australian government this year than previously”.

The study covers awareness, adoption and attitudes toward various digital government services and initiatives across local, state and federal governments, such as digital driver licenses, myGovID and My Health Record.

Australians trust in the media has also been shaken, with 1 in 3 “very concerned” about “fake news”.

Social media has proven effective in influencing various aspects of Australians’ lifestyles and attitudes and some 22 per cent of Australian 16 years and older claiming they have purchased something in 2019 as a result of being influenced by a social media post or advertisement.

Nearly half (46 per cent) have read politics related news on social media in 2019, and 21 per cent have posted about politics on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

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