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ABC’s iView has emerged as the leading site for legal on demand video downloads, followed by iTunes, Foxtel and on demand BigPond TV, according to new research from Ericsson.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab Report TV & Video 2011 – Consumer trends Australia, reveals that Australians are shifting their viewing habits rapidly towards selective content acquisition with 40 percent of Australian respondents regularly using on demand video and TV content.

The report also seems to confirm the emerging wisdom that video downloaders aren't pirates by nature: people gravitate to convenient legal downloads when they're available.

In Australia, 33 percent of respondents say they download video from file sharing sites, 32 percent from iView, followed by Apple (22 percent), Foxtel (14 percent) and Telstra Bigpond (13 percent).

Compared to the US, Hulu and Netflix are the top choices for content with 53 percent, while file sharing is one of the lowest at 14 percent. Australians are also driven towards time-shifting but remain unable to access all the content they want in a “legitimate” manner.

The report warns that Australia needs to increase the availability of kosher file sharing alternatives.

Ericsson research also shows that while watching TV, more than half of Australians are also accessing the internet, (61 percent vs 64 percent global average), also we are just as likely as our global peers to be using social forums or blog whilst watching TV (43 percent Australia, 42 percent globally).

“For those Australians downloading content, laptops are just as popular as TV screens, also Australians are on par with the global average for watching content on their smartphone or tablet computer,” said Kursten Leins, General Manager Strategy & Marketing, Ericsson Australia & New Zealand. ®

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