Who’s ditching traditional TV in Canada?

While Netflix leads the charge for OTT, a new study by the MTM proves that income is not a major factor in choosing digital over TV.

The good news for the TV industry is that most English Canadians still subscribe to traditional paid TV in some form. According to a recent report from the Media Technology Monitor (MTM), which surveyed 4.000 Anglophone Canadians in late 2018, 68% subscribe to paid television, be it through cable, satellite or fibre optic.

The bad news for TV providers is that number is down significantly from 10 years ago. In 2008, 86% of respondents subscribed to TV, representing a reduction of 20.9% over 10 years.

Of the 32% of those surveyed who no ┬álonger subscribe to traditional TV services, 20% are identified as what the MTM calls “TV My Way” Canadians: Anglophones 18+ without a traditional TV service or antenna at home, but who watch online TV content in some capacity, be it through SVOD, transactional VOD or other non-traditional OTT services.

‘TV My Way’ cohort has doubled and then some since 2008

The percentage of “TV My Way” people has more than doubled from 9% in 2008 to 20% of respondents in 2018, according to the MTM. Unsurprisingly, younger Canadians are much more likely to be “TV My Way” than the general Canadian population. While 20% of Canadians overall don’t pay for a traditional TV subscription the percentage more than doubles (to 44%) for those ages 18 to 34.

Although many have reported liking services such as Netflix for their thrifty price points compared to cable, household income was not the main factor in parsing out the “TV My Way” cohort, as people in this group came from all income brackets.

However, 25% of respondents who identified as “TV My Way” said they had some university education, while only 9% of those who had not completed high school identified as “TV My Way.” And residents with populations under 10,000 were only 14% likely to be part of this cohort, compared with 22% of respondents who lived in a city with a population of one million or more.

Netflix leads the way for OTT

While there are other options for the “TV My Way” crowd beyond subscription-based services (such as transactional VOD), 87% of the “TV My Way” cohort subscribe to an OTT service.

Netflix led the way at 84%, with Amazon Prime and Crave lagging far behind at 29% and 7%, respectively. In comparison, 60% of all those surveyed subscribed to Netflix – indicating that the streaming service is a very popular choice for those forgoing a traditional cable package as well as people who still subscribe to TV.

In line with the general population, the majority of “TV My Way” respondents (59%) subscribe to only one OTT, while 30% subscribe to two OTT services and 11% subscribe to three or more OTT services.