Report reveals Aussies spent more time online than ever

AUSTRALIANS are spending almost an entire day each week browsing the internet, new research shows.

Nielsen's annual Australian Connected Consumers Report, released on Monday, revealed Australians spent more time online than ever in 2012, browsing for 23 hours, 18 minutes in an average week - an increase of 84 minutes on 2011.

And it's men who are racking up the hours online, with males spending an average of three hours longer per week on the internet than women.

The Nielsen research also revealed that, for the first time, more Australians had access to the internet-connected television (33%) than tablet computers (31%).

Nielsen also found the continued growth in popularity of online media meant "evening prime time" was no longer the exclusive domain of broadcast TV.

Researchers found online consumption grew by 11% in this timeslot last year, with 64% of online Australians logging in between 6-8pm.

"Dual screening" was also found to be a growing trend, with this practice increasing from 60% in 2011 to 74% last year.

Our behaviour while watching TV is also changing rapidly, primarily because of social media.

Lillian Zrim, co-author of the report, said "social TV" had emerged as a key trend.

"In 2012, we found more than one in three online Australians engaging in social media activity in line with television consumption, whether it is posting comments about TV programs or reading comments about the program being watched," Ms Zrim said.

Further, 43% of the Australian online population watched TV content via the internet, with Ms Zrim predicting the National Broadband Network would "facilitate a surge in demand for streamed TV and movie content" in the coming years.

Nielsen also found Android had, for the first time, taken over from iPhone as the leading smartphone operating system. Almost half (45%) of online Australians were found to use Android against 38% for iOS.

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