Netflix now has more than 5.2 million customers in Canada, report suggests

Almost half of Canadians used Netflix to watch a TV show or movie in the past month, according to a report Wednesday from a Toronto-based digital consultancy.

Solutions Research Group says almost half of Canadians used Netflix in past month

Almost half of Canadians accessed Netflix in the past month, Solutions Research Group says. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)

Almost half of Canadians used Netflix to watch a TV show or movie in the past month, according to a report Wednesday from a Toronto-based digital consultancy.

In its quarterly Digital Life Canada report, Solutions Research Group said that roughly 5.2 million Canadian households currently pay for a Netflix subscription.

The latest Statistics Canada data suggest there are about 13 million households across the country, which implies the streaming service is on its way to having 50 per cent penetration.

Based on regulatory filings from Telus, Shaw, Rogers and Bell, a little over 11 million Canadian households currently pay for some sort of television service.

Netflix doesn't break down its subscriber base by country anymore, but SRG's report is based on its own research including interviews with more than 1,000 online users across the country. The company has been tracking Netflix's subscriber base since 2011.

The report suggests Netflix has added more than a million customers in Canada since last summer. Last month, the company raised its prices from the initial $7.99 a month and offered options for customers who want to stream more high-definition content on several devices at once.

In April, 46 per cent of Canadians said they used Netflix to stream a full-length movie or TV show in the past month. Five years ago, that percentage stood at 11 per cent.

Netflix isn`t the only streaming service seeing growth in Canada, but the numbers show more recent upstarts have a long way to go to surpass the company.

CraveTV, owned by Bell, and Shomi, co-owned by Rogers and Shaw, both launched in 2014, first to television subscribers but then quickly opened themselves up to anyone with an internet connection. According to SRG's estimates, the two services currently have just over 700,000 customers put together.

That`s less than one-seventh of Netflix's current reach, SRG says.

In addition to Shomi, Rogers also launched a sports-themed online streaming pack for $24.99 a month.

With streaming options growing, it's perhaps no surprise that more and more Canadians say they are thinking of cutting their cable television connection.

A little under half, or 46 per cent of Canadians, are currently considering cutting their cable TV cord, SRG's report estimates. Last June, that figure stood at 38 per cent. In 2012, it was just 28 per cent.

While the numbers of cord cutters are still small in absolute terms, SRG's numbers suggest they could be growing fast. And the figures jibe with another report from Convergence last month that suggested 180,000 Canadians cut the cord last year, an 80 per cent increase from 2014's level.


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