Media scholar Professor Amanda Lotz and Dr. Marion McCutcheon, both from QUT’s Digital Media Research Center and School of Communication, surveyed more than 2,000 adults for their Australian Screen Stories Viewing Report, a four-part survey of Australians’ attitudes and behavior towards scripted series and movie viewing.
Part three of the report—”Australian Screen Story Viewing Report: Part 3: Viewing Practices”—was recently published by QUT ePrints and explores evolving viewing habits as well as who we are watching with.
“We are no longer forced to watch schedules that mean ‘primetime’ at whatever time we choose, even though a small percentage (13%) of Australians report not using social media or paid streaming services,” Professor Lotz said.
“Even with all the new ways in which we watch entertainment, there is also very little good data about common habits, such as how much watching is intentional versus playing in the background. Our latest report fills that gap, especially about the importance of screen stories as a way to share time with others and how we choose what to watch, which is not always determined by content.
“We found that viewers pay closer attention to movies than to TV series, with half of scripted series viewing receiving our full attention compared to 63% of movie viewing. But scripted series or movies remain very popular among all age groups, accounting for more than half of our participants’ viewing.
“A quarter of those we surveyed never use another device while watching while 28% do not watch videos on social media (YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Facebook, etc.) and 13% do not watch reality TV, sports or news.
“The numbers vary by age though. People 45 and under watch about half as much reality TV, sports, and news as people over 45, and about three times as much social media video.
“Older viewers are more likely to pay close attention than younger viewers, who are more likely to play movies in the background.”
Dr. McCutcheon said the “second screen”—a phone, tablet, or laptop in hand while in a room with a “living room screen”—is potentially responsible for much of the distraction that can be a part of contemporary viewing.
“In the late 00s, many in the industry believed that people would use their mobile screens in ways tied to viewing the living room screen, which they called the ‘second screen,'” said Dr. McCutcheon.
“These assumptions continue today, so we asked how often respondents use a phone or other device in connection with what they watch. It turns out that ‘second screen’ use is not a significant part of Australian viewing, with a quarter of them saying they never use another device while watching a movie or series. This is especially the case for older viewers.
Among those surveyed who are not alone, more than half of the time spent watching movies is shared with others but “time together” does not mean everyone is watching the same screen.
“We found 13% looked at different devices in the same room ‘usually’ or ‘mostly,’ and 29% did so ‘sometimes,'” Professor Lotz said.
“Movie watching is the most social, with 43% reporting that they ‘always’ or ‘primarily’ watch with others and for many, at least part of the viewing is not about a personal favorite but finding a title to share.”
“Most of the pre-digital research on home viewing focused on the family’s negotiation of the living room set. Now that more homes have more screens than people, it’s a whole new ball game.”
Australian Screen Story Viewer Report: Part 3: Viewing Practices: eprints.qut.edu.au/241538/
Provided by Queensland University of Technology
Citation: Movies hold more attention than TV series, research finds (2023, July 21) retrieved 21 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-movies-attention-tv-series.html
This document is subject to copyright. Except for any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is provided for informational purposes only.