Canadian online video viewing up 46% as traditional TV slips

By jimoneill

29% of English-speaking Canadians subscribe to Netflix.

On the heels of a report from Ericsson that said consumers were watching nearly as much streaming TV as traditional TV, Canada’s broadcast regulator has issued its own report that said Internet viewing was up and TV viewing down in 2013.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in its annual report said Canadians increased their Internet TV viewing by 46% to 1.9 hours a week, and said viewers across all age groups watched less TV in 2013 than they did in 2012. Viewers aged 18- to 34-years-old trimmed their viewing time the most, about 4%.

The CRTC said time spent watching traditional TV – about 20 hours a week – is 10X more than online video viewing time, but reported the lead continues to narrow.

Netflix has had a big impact, and it’s continuing to grow. Twenty-nine percent of English speaking Canadians now subscribe to the SVOD service, up from 21% a year earlier. Among French-speaking Canadians, adoption has increased to 7% from 5%, the CRTC said.

“The [traditional] companies are trying all sorts of tactics to increase the use of mobile TV by their subscribers because it’s a way to offset the pressure on conventional TV,” Maher Yaghi, an analyst at Desjardins Securities, told the Financial Post. “So the faster that part of the business grows, the better it will be for them. But at this point it’s still not big enough to compensate for the decline in the overall pie.”

In 2013, pay-TV operators saw revenues slip1.6% to $5.4 billion, the second consecutive year of declines.

Online video revenues in Canada, meanwhile, increased 10% to $926 million.

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: Canadian online video viewing up 46% as traditional TV slips