Torontonians over-index on tablets, Montrealers love online video: Study

The MTM's new study on tech and media trends across various Canadian markets shows that where you live in the country might say something about your tech habits.
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The Media Technology Monitor’s latest research proves that reaching Canadians can be a different ball game depending on what part of the country you’re targeting.

The MTM recently released its 2016 Market Report series. The surveys, the first of their kind, explore media use and technology penetration across the country’s regions, provinces and major cities.

Data was gathered across eight Anglophone markets (Vancouver, the remainder of British Columbia, Alberta, Atlantic provinces, Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Montreal, Toronto and the remainder of Ontario) in early-to-mid 2016. Approximately 4,000 people were surveyed in each territory primarily by phone.

While television penetration was relatively steady across all territories, the way in which Canadians subscribe to TV varied greatly. The biggest outlier for fibre optic TV was Atlantic Canada —42% of respondents in the eastern provinces reported subscribing versus 21% for Canadians overall. Vancouver also over-indexed slightly with 26% penetration.

Satellite was least popular in Vancouver compared to the rest of the country, ranking at 5% of respondents versus 16% of Canadians overall. Montreal and Toronto also scored low at only 7%. While those markets reported drastically low penetration rates for satellite television, Albertans over-indexed slightly in the area, with 22% of respondents subscribing to satellite.

Cable penetration sits at 38% across Canada, with the biggest outlier being Manitoba/Saskatchewan (32%).

One of the biggest competitors to traditional TV, OTT and SVOD, had a 50% penetration rate across all territories. Vancouverites, however, were slightly lower than average, at 44%. As for other online activities, Montrealers were more fond of online video viewing than any other region, particularly viewing full movies online (50% to 43%) and YouTube videos (76% to 70%).

Montreal was also the only market to show a major variance in the penetration of Bell Media-owned CraveTV, with 6% of respondents subscribing (versus 3% of all Canadians).

Albertans, meanwhile, were reported as most likely to own a gaming console (52%). The province also over-indexed slightly in ownership of smart TVs (43% to 39%) and internet connected TVs (50% to 46%). Atlantic Canadians were the least likely to own smart TVs (34%).

Toronto over-indexed moderately in all areas related to online music listening, including online radio, subscription services such as Spotify and Apple Music and listening to music on YouTube.

Vancouver reported higher rates of media multitasking (using the Internet while watching TV), with 82% reporting regular multitasking (versus 76% of all Canadians).

Across the country, smartphone penetration sits at 78% with no major outliers across the provinces. The biggest outlier was in Atlantic Canada at 71%.

Albertans in particular are fond of iPhones, with 45% of respondents in the province owning the devices compared to the country’s 36%. Manitoba and Saskatchewan also rank high with 43% penetration. That popularity is offset by Ontarians, both in and outside of Toronto — only 32% of respondents in each market own iPhones.

While wearables and tablets had moderate penetration across Canada (54% for tablets and 14% for wearables), they’ve found more success in Toronto than elsewhere (59% for tablets, 18% for wearables).

Social media penetration sat at 69% across Canada with no major outliers. However, some territories favoured some networks over others. In Vancouver, Facebook and LinkedIn penetration scored higher than average (72% versus 65% for Facebook, 32% versus 24% for LinkedIn). Meanwhile, LinkedIn is least popular in Manitoba (14%).

Twitter, which only had a 19% penetration rate across the country (behind Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest and tied with Instagram) was slightly more popular in Ontario than elsewhere, at 22%.