Linear and online content mix well: study

According to the Media Technology Monitor, nearly half of Canadians consume a healthy diet of both traditional and digital media.

Millennials, Gen Z and even Boomers are out. “Traditionals,” “Testers,” “Have-It-Alls” and more are in.

These are some of the new viewing profiles laid out by the Media Technology Monitor (MTM) in its new study of Canadian media consumption habits.

“Traditionals” are defined as people who do 90% or more of their viewing and listening through traditional platforms (linear TV, radio and personal music). “Testers” spend between 60% and 90% of their time with traditional platforms. “Hybrids” have more of a split, while the “Have-It-Alls” view 60 to 90% of their content on online platforms. “Online First” is the cohort that view 90% or more of their media online.

According to the study, 28% of Canadians fall into the Traditionals category – 28% of the population still consume more than 90% of their content the classic way. While this represents the largest group, that share has indeed gone down – back in 2011, 59% of Canadians fell into the Traditionals category. In total, the average Traditional consumes 22.5 hours of video content total, along with 13.6 hours of audio content.

While the Hybrid demographic is the smallest group (11% of the Canadian population identify as such), it has doubled in size in the last eight years. The fastest-growing segment is the Online First group, having grown to 24% from 6% in 2011.

In total, the three middle groups – Testers, Hybrids and Have-it-Alls – make up 45% of Canada’s media-consuming population, meaning most Canadians consume a solid mix of traditional and online media.

In general, there is a correlation between hours of content consumed and how much is consumed online; more traditional viewers tend to watch more hours of TV as opposed to the online-first crowd. However, the opposite is true for music; hours consumed go up with higher proportions of online listening.

Traditional viewing also correlates with age; the youngest participants are also the biggest online consumers. In the same vein, Traditionals are more likely to live in rural or low-population areas, whereas the “online first” group mostly live in cities of 500,000 people or more. Traditionals skew slightly female (58%) and Online First skew slightly male (54%).

Traditional TV and video viewing also correlate with traditional news consumption. Although all consumption groups have a high rate of reading the news, some are more likely to read online than they are to subscribe to traditional print media. More than one-quarter (26%) of Traditionals subscribe to a traditional newspaper. That rate goes steadily down as online consumption goes up, with only 9% of Online Firsts subscribing to print newspapers.

The MTM gathered its data through surveys in the spring and fall of 2018, resulting in combined results from more than 12,000 Canadians.