Where connected media penetration sits in 2021

MTM provides a snapshot of TV and social media habits as penetration of internet and smart devices levels off.

Internet penetration and the spread of connected devices is beginning to level off in Canada, according to MTM’s first round of research for 2021.

However, as the size of internet penetration gets closer to absolute saturation – its currently at 93% for Anglophone households in Canada – there are new terms for exactly how it is used within those households: 38% of them are defined as “Four Screen,” those who regularly access the internet on four different screens – computer, phone, tablet and internet-connected TV. If that seems like as far as connectivity could go, there are also the 15% of Canadians who are “Teched In,” and own five or more internet-connected devices, such as smart speakers or appliances.

Internet-connected TVs are in 63% of Anglophone households – similar to the levels seen last year – but smart speakers are still slowly increasing their penetration to 24% of homes, up from 19% last year.

This also means that TV viewing is continuing to change, with “TV My Way” individuals who have no regular TV service but do watch TV content through some online platform, be it social media or clips posted to streaming sites like YouTube, at just over 10% of the population. Overall, 30% of Anglophone households don’t have a paid TV subscription.

However, 72% of households now have an SVOD subscription, with 64% subscribing to Netflix, 18% to Crave, 26% to Amazon Prime and 5% subscribing to sports streaming services. Last year was the first year SVOD subscription outpaced paid TV subscriptions, though the gap between the two has stayed the same.

Cable is still the most popular subscription TV service in Canada, though Ontarians slightly outpace the rest of English-speaking Canada, with 36% of homes having cable compared to 33% in the rest of the country. Penetration for fibre optic and satellite services are both 17% in Ontario, while fibre optic penetration is 20% and satellite penetration is 16% in the rest of Canada.

At least 74% of Anglophones use a social network regularly, with Facebook leading the way by a large margin at 69%. Instagram comes in next at 41%, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat in a tight heat between 19% and 22%. TikTok, though picking up steam with younger Canadians, is still only at 3% penetration for the entirety of the adult Anglophone population.

MTM’s finding are based on a survey of 4,024 Anglophone adults in the fall.