Canada leads the market for linear TV penetration: study

Global TV Group shows that most Canadian still watch TV daily, beating out the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

Canada might be one of the strongest global markets for TV penetration.

The Global TV Group, an international trade group that promotes TV as a media platform, recently released its year-end Global TV Deck, which shows TV reach stats around the world.

The TV measured in the study is linear TV consumed on a set, either live or through a PVR system. Measurement comes from a variety of studies and organizations; in Canada’s case, Numeris was cited for viewership stats and other totals were gathered from consumer reports from the likes of IPG, GroupM and other agencies.

While the data naturally paints a positive picture for television around the world, Canada shows some of the best stats among the measured markets.

According to the deck, 80.6% of Canadians watch television on a daily basis – making it the highest of all studied countries, including the U.S. (70%), Australia (64.7%) and Germany (70.6%). It also boasts the highest weekly reach (93.7% penetration) and third-highest monthly reach (98.4% behind Russia and Germany, tied at 99% penetration).

While the study, which uses Numeris’ PPM data to track Canadian TV viewing, shows that viewing on a TV set was at an all-time low last year (settling at 3.5 hours per day per person), the numbers also show that Canadian TV viewing has fluctuated throughout the years, going up and down between 2010 and 2014. Overall, Canadians are watching 47 fewer minutes of television per day than they were at peak viewing, in 2010. Most (90%) of Canadian viewers watch TV live (as opposed to PVR) and the total for the millennial demographic is close to this (88%). This is on par with the U.S., where 90% of residents watch TV live.

The average TV campaign gets 143 million views in Canada – which amounts to 3.9 views per person, according to Canada’s 2017 census population. That’s almost equal with that of the U.S., where TV campaigns get an average of 1.3 billion views, just under four views per person. It’s just ahead of the U.K. (238 million views total, 3.6 per person) and well ahead of Australia (70 million views, 2.8 views per person) and Mexico (223 million views, 1.7 views per person).

In Canada, although TV boasts the highest number of viewers who believe it is the most trustworthy advertising medium (36%), it’s also second-place for the title of “least trustworthy” (11%). Internet has the least confidence, with 49% of survey respondents identifying it as the last trustworthy medium. Because different markets conducted surveys in different formats, Canadian results could not easily be compared to other countries.

The study also indicates that “digital-native” advertisers – brands whose businesses operate primarily online, such as Facebook, AirBNB and Netflix – have begun spending big on TV advertising. In Canada, the amount of TV ad spend from those companies is equal to $106.6 million. Canada was the lowest among all measured markets in this area, although it has one of the smallest populations; additionally some digital-first players such as Hulu, YouTube TV and Tidal are not yet available in Canada.