Nearly Half Of Canadians Watch TV, Movies Online Says Report

TORONTO - Almost half of all Canadians are now watching shows or movies online and about one in three are considering cancelling their TV service, suggests a new report.

A survey of Canadians by the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing found most home viewing is still done via traditional broadcast TV, although the Internet is changing that.

The industry group found 48 per cent of those surveyed watched a TV show or movie online recently, while 71 per cent of the 18-to-34 year olds said they were online viewers.

Almost two thirds of those who watched online content said they found things to watch on YouTube, just over half visited TV broadcasters' websites, 19 per cent used Netflix, and nine per cent purchased content from iTunes.

Of those online viewers, about a third said they watched TV shows or movies online more than once a week, 23 per cent said it was just once a week, and 17 per cent said it was only about once a month.

The survey also found that 93 per cent of respondents were aware of the streaming platform Netflix and 11 per cent were subscribers (another eight per cent were estimated to be using a free trial at the time).

Respondents were also asked about their understanding of the data caps on their Internet accounts and 80 per cent said they didn't know what their downloading and uploading limits were. Of those who did, the average response was 74 gigabytes, which the report suggests is high given that basic and intermediate accounts typically offer far less data.

About 15 per cent of respondents said they had gone over their data cap in the past after watching TV shows or movies online.

The online survey of 2,098 Canadians was conducted between June 23 and July 6 and is considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points.

Earlier this spring, the online measurement firm comScore reported that Canadians continue to be the most voracious consumers of online video in the world, viewing far more videos, for far longer, than web surfers in other countries.

In March, 22.5 million unique Canadian users watched 5.6 billion online videos for 388 million hours of viewing, averaging out to about 251 videos per user and 17.2 hours of viewing, comScore reported. Those numbers didn't even include streaming through Netflix, since comScore still cannot yet fully account for the site's traffic.