CRTC Releases Report Data On Canadians’ Viewing, Listening Practices

Canadians are increasingly turning to platforms and devices connected to the Internet for their video and audio content at the expense of old-form delivery systems, according to the CRTC’s 2017 Communications Monitoring Report.

 Canadians aged 18-34 years old are leading the trend with 23% watching TV exclusively online. Nationally, 13% of Anglophones watch TV exclusively online compared to only 4% of Francophones. Overall, Canadians aged 18 years or older viewed 3.1 hours of Internet TV per week in 2016, compared to 2.7 hours in 2015.

Although Canadians are spending less time with traditional television and radio services, these platforms continue to play an essential role in their lives. Canadians watched on average 26.6 hours per week of conventional television in 2016, compared to 27.2 hours in 2015. Canadians aged 65 and over watched the most TV at 42.8 hours per week.

A similar trend is occurring for audio content. Twenty-two percent of Canadians aged 18 years or older streamed AM/FM stations online, while more than 55% streamed music videos on Internet-based services. Twenty-seven percent of Canadians aged 18 years or older streamed personalized music, compared to 20% in 2015.

Regarding traditional radio, Canadians listened to an average of 14.5 hours per week, down from 15.6 hours per week in 2015. Canadians aged 65 and over listened to the most radio at 18 hours per week.

Reflecting on the findings, CRTC CEO Ian Scott stated, “This year’s report shows how much younger Canadians are turning to digital platforms for their audio and visual content. That being said, traditional broadcasters are adapting to this reality, and their services continue to be attractive options for many Canadians.”

Quick Facts

  • The Communications Monitoring Report

    • The 2017 analysis provides a detailed overview of the Canadian communications industry, as well as industry data and information, including emerging trends and issues.

    • This year, the CRTC is releasing the report in two parts. The first section, released today, presents data for the broadcasting sector. On November 9, 2017, the full report will be released.

  • Broadcasting sector

    • Broadcasting revenues, which include radio, TV and television service providers’ revenues, decreased slightly by 0.5% to $17.85 billion in 2016.

    • Revenues from the radio sector decreased by 2% to $1.8 billion.

    • Revenues from the television sector increased by 1.7% to $7.3 billion.

    • Revenues for television service providers decreased 2.1% to $8.7 billion.

  • Radio sector

    • The time spent by Canadians listening to traditional radio has decreased by an hour per week, from 15.6 hours in 2015 to 14.5 in 2016.

    • Among Canadians who listened to English-language radio stations, over 46% tuned in to either CBC Radio One, a country or adult contemporary format. By contrast, French-language Canadians tune in more to the news/talk radio format than the English market.

    • In 2016, radio broadcasters invested $47 million in support of the development and promotion of Canadian musical and spoken word content.

  • Television sector

    • The time spent by Canadians watching traditional television decreased by less than an hour over the last year, from 27.2 hours in 2015 to 26.6 hours in 2016.

    • Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service providers are gaining ground with almost
      300 000 new subscribers in 2016, a 13.8% increase over the previous year.

    • Cable, IPTV and satellite TV services had 11.1 million subscribers in 2016, a 1.1% decline from 2015.

    • Collectively, broadcasters and television service providers invested $3.1 billion in the production of Canadian programming in 2016.

  • Digital platforms

    • Overall, 44% of Canadians subscribe to online video services, with Albertans having the highest subscription rate in the country at 56%.

    • Younger Canadians are more likely to subscribe to online video services, with a subscription rate of more than 64% for 18-34-year-olds, a 3% increase from 2015.

    • Sixty percent of Anglophones and 54% of Francophones watched internet TV in the past month.

    • The national subscription rate of satellite radio has remained unchanged over the past three years at 16%.

    • Estimated revenues for online video services in Canada reached almost $2 billion in 2016, an increase of 17.7% from 2015.  This includes foreign and domestic video services viewed by Canadians.

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