COVID-19 drives more Canadians to multiple OTT subscriptions

Media Technology Monitor's Sneak Peek Report also found that Facebook and YouTube lead as the most popular options for remote social viewing features.
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The number of Canadians who subscribe to at least three or more over the top (OTT) services has grown by 58% during COVID-19, according to the Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) new Spring 2020 Sneak Peek Report.

Offering insight into how Canadians media and technology habits have been impacted by the pandemic, the overview saw the number of subscribers with three or more services rise to 19% in Spring 2020 from 12% pre-COVID-19 in Fall 2019.

The data collected by MTM also saw the number of households with two subscriptions drop slightly to 23% from 24% in pre-COVID-19. As well, the number of households with one service dropped by 3% (to 33% in Spring 2020 from 36% in Fall 2019) alongside households with no OTT subscriptions (25% to 28%).

Additionally, the Sneak Peek Report found that a quarter of all subscribers say they have subscribed to a new OTT service during COVID-19 to have more content to consume and that there was a slight bump in the number of online Canadians subscribed to at least one OTT service – to 75% in 2020 from 73% in 2019.

Addressing the absence of sports during the pandemic, MTM’s report found that subscriptions to sports-focused paid video streaming services decreased by more than 130% during COVID-19 (to 6% in 2020 from 14% in 2019). A little more than half (53%) also told MTM that they haven’t watched anything in the absence of sports.

For those who opted for a replacement, 30% of those surveyed said they have been turning to classic sports games, while 21% have been watching past sports clips, 16% are consuming sports documentaries and 10% said they are watching eSports.

One of the activities MTM addressed in its latest report is social viewing features. Notably, just over one in six online Canadians have used a social viewing feature like Netflix Party to watch content with friends and family during the pandemic, the document stated. Young people in the 18 to 24-age range are also more than twice (40%) as likely to use co-viewing features than the average Canadian (17%).

Among the features used, both Facebook and YouTube live streams came in at 36%, with Netflix Party following at 31%, while twoseven and Gaze held 4%.

And in terms of staying informed, MTM noted that 97% of Canadians have been following the news about the pandemic and that TV news channels have been a primary source of information on COVID-19 (45%).

Due to COVID-19, MTM’s Spring 2020 questionnaire was executed as an online panel survey of 4,000 Canadians.

This story originally appears in Playback.

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