June 14, 2016 3 years 4 months ago

Netflix subs in Canada top 5.2 million; Crave, Shomi trail considerably: report

Cord cutting intent strengthening, as is skinny basic awareness

TORONTO – According to new research from Toronto’s Solutions Research Group, Netflix now counts more than 5 million subscribing households in Canada, while nascent Canadian efforts CraveTV (owned by Bell Media) and Shomi (owned by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications) together is estimated to have about one-seventh the number of subscribers.

The figures come from SRG’s ongoing Digital Life Canada syndicated research. For this edition, SRG interviewed 1,000 Canadians online in April 2016 using a professionally managed national online panel, says the release. The company has run Digital Life Canada each quarter since 2006 (that’s 40,000 interviews over the years).

Forty-six percent of Canadian households, or 5.2 million, report streaming at least one full length movie or TV show from Netflix in the month prior to their interview and while most Canadians have heard of Shomi (83% say they definitely or vaguely know the brand – 48% said definitely) and CraveTV (78%, 44%), the number of subscriptions pale in comparison to Netflix.

“Adoption continues to lag far behind awareness with 4% reporting current Shomi subscriptions and 3% reporting for Crave,” says the research. “SRG estimates that Crave and Shomi have fewer than one million households as active subscribers (combined) or about a 1-to-7 service ratio for these services vs. Netflix.” (That said, Bell announced in its Q1 2016 results that it had 100,000 direct to consumer subscribers to CraveTV. However, last summer, the company said 730,000 people had used CraveTV – but that when it was still free and used by those authenticated to have a TV subscription from certain providers. It was made available over-the-top to all Canadians in January. Neither Rogers nor Shaw have made public any subscriber numbers for Shomi of which we are aware.)

The research also shows that cord cutting continues to be front of mind for consumers, driven by the expense of the video products on offer. “Cord cutting intent has trended up steadily since September 2015 and now stands at an all-time high of 46% (with 21% saying they were ‘seriously’ considering cutting the cord) says the research. Among those who did cut the cord, the cost factor was the top reason cited.

SRG also asked Canadians about the new CRTC-mandated skinny basic cable package of channels and found that “definite awareness” of the package was at 34%, with another 33% “vaguely aware” of it. “This is a good level of awareness in a short amount of time based on other marketing awareness benchmarks we have,” reads the release (see image below).

Canadians, of course, are also becoming more and more connected, with a growing desire to turn their TVs into smart, on demand viewing devices. While 63% (7.5 million) of households have at least one game console, PC or other device in order to stream video, 26% (3 million) are currently using a dedicated streaming video device such as an Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Boxee or similar to watch movies and TV. This is up from 60% and 12%, respectively, since December of 2013.

For more on this survey, please contact Solutions Research Group here.