SLIDE DECK: Here's How Internet Usage Is Changing In Australia

The way Australians are accessing information is changing at a rapid pace.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released its annual report detailing how Australians use the internet across 2013-14.

When it comes to internet access, desktop usage is falling and 68% of Australians used three or more devices to access the web.

Here are a few trends which define Australia’s internet usage.

Australia has reached mobile saturation

The number of internet services has plateaued. Mobile services in operation fell slightly (0.3%) to 31.01 million across 2013-14. ACMA said the slight drop indicates the Australian market for mobile services is at or near saturation levels.

The growth in number of new internet connections is also slowing.

An estimated 81% of Australians (14.7 million) have an internet connection in the home, with growth slowing over the past three years.

But Australians are becoming intensely engaged online.

Aussies are downloading more data and making greater use of mobiles. The total volume of data downloaded in Australia during the June quarter of 2014 was 53 per cent higher
than the volume downloaded during the June quarter of 2013.

While the use of mobile devices has grown it was fixed-line broadband users which made up 93 per cent of total growth in data downloads during the quarter.

They spent most of their web time on email and researching.

The three most popular activities for adult Australians online was reported to be emailing, researching and surfing the net. Social media came in fifth place, closely followed by online shopping.

About 6.4 million Australians streamed music, movies, tv shows, or video clips over the period - a 21% increase over the past five years. ACMA said video and audio content is adding to the continued growth in the volume of data downloaded.

Mobile phones and laptops are the most popular devices.

In the six months to May 2014, 68 per cent of internet users accessed the internet via three or more devices. ACMA found 76% of Australian adults used a mobile to access the internet while 74% used a laptop.

The number of people accessing the internet using a tablet increased by 25% in the six months to June 2014 to reach 5.5 million adult Australians.

And home phones are disappearing.

Over a quarter of Australian adults don't have a fixed-line telephone. The report shows a reduced dependency on fixed-voice communications with no growth shown over the year. The graphic shows a correlation between age and mobile phone only households, with 51% of those aged 25–34, living in a household without a fixed-line telephone.

However all this internet time is putting Australians at risk.

The growth in the intensity of online engagement is also being matched by an increase in their exposure to network security threats. ACMA found there was a jump in the average number of computer infections reported, up from 16,034 per day in 2012–13 to 25,839 per day at May 2014.

The value of online transactions is climbing.

Revenue from the sale of goods or services online by businesses operating in Australia reached $246 billion during 2012–13, a $10 billion increase over 2011–12.

Compared to the rest of the world, Australia ranked second behind the UK in terms of average per head annual online expenditure.

Online ad spend has also increased

Expenditure on online advertising grew by 19% to total $3.99 billion over the 2013 calendar year. It now makes up 30% of total media advertising expenditure, compared to 25 per cent in 2012 and 20 per cent during 2011.

The full report is here.

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