Traditional TV still very popular with Canadian kids

Trends might be more driven by the preferences of parents, such as young adults who drop their cable packages.

The conception that the youngest generation of Canadians is mainly tuned into digital media might not tell the full picture.

Traditional linear TV is nearly as popular as Netflix among anglophone children aged two to 17, according to the annual MTM Junior report. Even with the availability of a massive amount of video options, two-thirds of them watch linear TV in a typical week.

When it comes to watching linear TV on a physical TV set, 44% say they watch almost every day. Only one in six never watch linear TV on a TV set. Online TV viewing is seen as more of a supplement rather than a replacement  for linear TV.

Although teens are moving more to watching YouTube, over two-thirds say they watch TV weekly. Teens report watching the highest amount weekly TV content compared to other age groups, eight hours per week. But the same group spends even more time (10 hours per week) watching YouTube. Two-to-six-year-olds favour traditional TV while kids aged seven to 11, split their time in equal amounts across TV, Netflix and YouTube.

One trend that the main MTM survey has seen over the past few years is that young adults are more likely to drop traditional TV services. As a result, TV service penetration is declining more quickly among households with children under 12. The decline in in TV service subscriptions is less evident in households with teens where parents are likely older.

MTM Junior, the first annual youth media study in Canada, is a division of the Media Technology Monitor.