Canadians increasingly view TV content in other languages: study

Those who seek content in languages other than English and French are more likely to find it on OTT.

Canada may be the home to two official languages – English and French – but an increasing number of television viewers are seeking out content in other languages.

A new report from Media Technology Monitor surveyed more than 8,000 Canadian adults in the last quarter of 2018. Of those studied, 20% watch TV or movie content in a non-official language.

In a country where 96% of adults watch television, whether via traditional broadcast services or online, one-fifth of viewers say they have watched in a language other than English or French. Three out of eight say they do so weekly (and 75% of these viewers do so monthly).

Anglophone Canadians are more likely to sit down to a television show or movie in a different language than Francophones are. The report found that could be attributed to a higher number of new Canadians and visible minorities in the English-language market. Eighteen per cent of Canadians were born outside the country and visible minorities make up 15% of the population – both groups are most likely to be viewing other language content.

The report digs a little deeper finding Canadians with post-secondary education, who reside in large urban markets like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal in households with more than $35,000 in income, to be the most common viewers of other language content. Those who seek out television and movies in languages other than English and French are more likely to be OTT subscribers (76%) who have a particularly affinity for Netflix (71%).

Despite the presence of networks like OMNI, it can often be easier to find other language content online rather than through linear TV, the report found. As a result, those viewers spend an average of four more hours watching video content and are more likely (87%) to stream audio online as well.


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