Canadian newcomers are mobile-first: study

New Canadians over-index on time spent on mobile, especially when it comes to video messaging.

It’s no surprise that Canadians are moving to an increasingly mobile-first lifestyle. But a new study by Toronto-based Solutions Research Group (SRG) shows that newcomers to Canada especially gravitate toward handheld devices, and over-index on time spent with mobile.

Canadian newcomers report spending an average of 2.5 hours with their mobile phone “yesterday,” compared to 1.5 hours of the general population.

Of the key groups studied (people from China, South Asia, the Philippines, North Africa and the Middle East, Latin and Central America), people from the Philippines were the most intense mobile users, citing an average of 3.3 hours daily for social media, messaging and video.

recent study by Oath with a similar mandate looked into the media consumption habits of new Canadians, finding that most newcomers purchase a phone within three months of their arrival.

SRG’s study, which conducted interviews with 1,149 Canadian newcomers across six major metropolitan areas (as well as 966 “general population” respondents for comparative purposes) also found that newcomers are bigger streamers.

More than half (57%) use Netflix, over-indexing against the general population. Spanish-speaking respondents had the highest rate of Netflix consumption, with 61% reporting usage in the last month. Additionally, 93% of newcomers use YouTube, and 51% say they use a music streaming service.

But mobile messaging, especially video messaging apps, is perhaps where the biggest difference lies. Twice as many newcomers report using video chat program FaceTime on a weekly basis as the general population (38% versus 19%).

It doesn’t just take different devices to reach new Canadians. SRG found that their media and sports taste differ. While just as many newcomers consider themselves sports fans (70% of new Canadians; 68% of the general population), new Canadians aren’t as hooked on hockey as the general population. When asked to indicate their favourite sports, 26% of respondents said hockey, which only came in third place. The top scoring sport was basketball (29%), followed by soccer (28%).

In the last seven days, 87% of new Canadian respondents used websites aimed at the general Canadian population, but 77% also visited a website aimed at their ethnic background, meaning a typical Canadian newcomer ingests a mix of mainstream and ethnic Canadian media. Chinese newcomers are the most likely group to visit a website tailored at their own background.

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