Who is ‘teched in’ among Canadians?

Just under one-tenth of Canadians own five major tech devices, but they're rabid media consumers and big spenders.

A recent study by the MTM has led the CBC’s media research arm to coin a new term to describe a unique class of Canadians: those who are “teched in.”

The “teched in” cohort are those who own all five of the following: a smartphone, a tablet, a computer (laptop or desktop), an internet-connected TV set and a smart speaker. This class was defined through a sample survey of 12,000 Canadians conducted in late 2018/early 2019.

The group is admittedly niche – an estimated 9% of Canadians fall into this category. According to the MTM’s own data, that’s about half of the people in Canada who own smart speakers – meaning those who own the relatively new devices are fairly likely to own a significant amount of additional technology.

With the popularity of smart speakers, it should come as no surprise that most of this group are big consumers of audio content. Three out of four “teched-in” Canadians listen to music streaming services, and two out of five listen to podcasts. Those who are big on podcasts over-index against the broader population – according to the MTM’s previous reporting, 24% of Anglophone and 12% of Francophone Canadians listen to podcasts. However, those who stream music don’t over-index against the general population, meaning music streaming is more ubiquitous among Canadians and not just tech junkies.

The plurality of these “teched in” Canadians are Gen X, with more than one-third falling between the ages of 39 and 54. This means the likelihood of reaching a higher-income household is greater; Gen X are more likely than most to have household incomes of more than $100,000 per year.

Most are social media users, with 90% of the “teched in” crowd using at least one social networking site. The group over-indexes on social in general, as well as on particular networks: 80% use Facebook (versus 72% of the average Canadian) and 50% use Instagram (versus 37%).

Besides the big-five devices studied in the report, the MTM found that there’s another area of tech that “teched in” Canadians increasingly after: wearables. This tech-savvy group is more than twice as likely to wear a smartwatch, with 55% reporting ownership, compared to the 25% of the general population.