Canadians tuning in less to traditional TV and radio, CRTC report finds
Streaming services growing while conventional media declines
Canadians are turning more and more to internet-based media at the expense of conventional forms of broadcasting, the CRTC said Wednesday.
In an annual report on Wednesday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said that last year, almost half of Canadians subscribed to some sort of online video service, such as Netflix, CraveTV and others.
Among those between 18 and 34 years old, almost two-thirds subscribe to such a service. Among those 65 and over, barely one in six do.
"This year's report shows how much younger Canadians are turning to digital platforms for their audio and visual content," new CRTC chair Ian Scott said. "That being said, traditional broadcasters are adapting to this reality and their services continue to be attractive options for many Canadians."
Indeed, Canadian cable, IPTV (internet-protocol TV) and satellite television companies still had a total of 11.1 million subscribers last year. That's a 1.1-per-cent decline from the previous year's level, but the IPTV portion within that grew by 13.8 per cent during the year, adding more than 300,000 new customers in the past 12 months.
All in all, more than three quarters of Canadian households subscribed to some sort of broadcasting service last year, a penetration rate that has inched lower for several years in a row now.
There's a similar trend underway in terms of audio content, too, as 22 per cent of Canadians aged 18 years or older streamed radio stations online last year, while more than 55 per cent streamed music videos on internet-based services, including Spotify, Apple Music and others.
While the digital space is growing quickly, Canadians are still spending a lot of time consuming conventional media, too. Canadians watched on average 26.6 hours per week of traditional television last year, compared to 27.2 hours in 2015. Canadians aged 65 and over watched the most television at 42.8 hours per week.
On the radio side, Canadians listened to an average of 14.5 hour 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.