SVOD subscriptions surpass paid TV for the first time

However, there is overlap – nearly three-quarters of Canadians who pay for TV also subscribe to an SVOD.

A new study from the Media Technology Monitor (MTM) found that the number of SVOD subscriptions such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video now sits at 72% penetration among Canadians, with 69% of households viewing TV via cable, satellite or fibre optic TV, by comparison. And there is plenty of overlap: seven in 10 households who subscribe to a TV service also have at least one OTT service.

Cable remains the most common type of TV service subscription, serving 33% of Anglophone households, although cable TV penetration has been declining over the past decade. Cable subscribers are more likely to live in larger communities, have household incomes under $75,000 a year, and/or be over the age of 50.

A fifth of English-speaking households subscribe to a fibre optic (IPTV) service. Meanwhile, satellite TV continues to hold steady with roughly a sixth of households subscribing, particularly in smaller communities and areas without the infrastructure for cable or fibre optic TV. Those subscribing to satellite services are shown to be 50-plus, and in households of multiple adults or in those with children under the age of 18.

With all the options available, 7% of English-speaking households get their content over-the-air.  These households tend to watch less TV content than those who pay for subscription services and are more likely to subscribe to OTT services than other groups.

Cable and fibre optic households are slightly more techy – these groups were the most likely to own tablets, smartphones and smart speakers. On the other hand, ownership of those devices is not as heavy in satellite households with device ownership lowest among over-the-air viewers.