Canadians consuming more media overall: Deloitte

TV is still king, but our attention wanders across multiple devices while viewing it, says the latest State of the Media Democracy from Deloitte.

While 61% of Canadians still prefer to watch TV programs live on TVs, only 45% of us are fully focused on the TV while we watch it – the other 55% are emailing (29%), surfing websites (29%), texting (16%) and using social media (13%).

So says the latest State of the Media Democracy report from Deloitte, a global study of multiple markets. The Canadian sample included 1,936 people, polled online, and is representative proportionally across the Canadian provinces and both genders.

Interestingly, however, the study also found that the surge in viewing screens may be causing Canadians some frustration: 44% of those polled said that the ability to move music, TV shows and other content across platforms and devices was “desirable/extremely desirable” and 28% said that they’d like to have an online storage service so they can access content they own from any device.

In the same vein, connectivity among home media devices also ranked highly in Canadians’ interest, Darren McLennan, strategy and operations, Deloitte in Canada, says.

 “The biggest thing that people do want to do with their digital content is get it onto their television in their living room. [Approximately] 60% of Canadians said they would like to have their televisions connected to the internet, whereas 10 or 11% said they have done it, which suggests a lot of latent demand for internet-connected television,” he explains. 

“Based on what we’ve seen, [people] want information services on the television, but the biggest thing they want is video on the television,” he says.

The study revealed that people prefer to watch professionally created content on their home televisions, while they prefer to watch user-generated content on their mobile phones, he says. The likely answer, he says, is simply length of content.

 “They don’t want to watch Avatar on their BlackBerry, ” McLennan says,  “They want to watch little clips.”

Broadcasters (and many advertisers) will be interested to note that the survey found that 78% of Canadians consider TV to be among the most persuasive ad mediums, with newspapers coming in second at 53%, online at 45% and magazines at 43%.

Other interesting tidbits from the study included a healthy interest in mobile barcode scanning – 39% of those polled said that they’d like to use their phone to scan product barcodes for information.

The study also included a generational breakdown of interest in watching live TV programming on TV, which mirrors much of what has been found in other studies in the past year: 79% and 73% of “matures” and baby boomers, respectively, prefer to watch live TV on their TVs, but the percentages start dropping the younger you go: 53% of gen-Xers and 48% of millennial said they preferred to do so. Only 13% said they prefer to use their PVR.

When asked what surprised him the most in the study, McLennan says it’s simply how much people still love to watch their TVs.

“The primacy of linear television in the Canadian living room still surprises me. How little people use DVRs – they just want to sit down in front of the box and flip it on.”