More than 20% of Canadians plan to cut the cord: study

One in seven Canadians have transitioned from linear TV to online and OTT services and one in five intend to do so over the next year.
Retro TV

A new study by the Media Technology Monitor could prove concerning for the Canadian TV industry. The study took a look at cord-cutting across Canada and found one in seven respondents has pulled the plug, and more plan to follow suit.

In a survey of roughly 4,175 Canadians, MTM found those who have previously paid for a TV service like satellite, cable or fibre optic, but no longer do, are likely between the ages of 35 and 49. And, the number is growing as more than 20% reported they are likely to disconnect in the next 12 months, particularly among the 18 to 34-year-old demo.

Younger subscribers, those aged 18 to 49 are more likely to start the transition as cord-shavers, reducing the number of linear TV channels they may have in a package. They are are more likely to come from affluent households. Roughly 23% of 18 to 34-year-olds have never had a TV subscription, nor have 22% of new Canadians.

Still, approximately 74% of Canadians are still paying for some sort of TV subscription service. Four in five cord cutters now watch TV online with 74% subscribing to OTT services, 70% of whom choose Netflix, followed by Amazon Prime Video. Two-thirds of what MTM calls “TV My Way” Canadians (those who don’t pay for a TV service but use OTT services) formerly had TV subscriptions. Two-thirds of them have a TV connected to the internet. And, common among them is the preferred use of cell phones, for this group has also scrapped landlines.

Cord-cutting differs between English and French-speaking Canadians. More than 81% of traditional TV subscribers are Francophones, as opposed to 74% of Anglophones. Francophones are less likely to adopt online or OTT methods of watching television; Anglophones are 20% more likely to start with cord shaving.