More Than Half of Canadian TV Streamers Now Stream Ad-Supported TV: Roku Study

Today, Roku revealed the results of its third annual Video-on-Demand (VOD) Evolution study, examining Canadian TV streaming behaviours and trends. According to the study, three quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians are TV streamers, and ad-supported TV is on the rise with over half (52 per cent) tuning in.

The current macro-economic situation seems to have had an impact on Canadian TV households, with 18 per cent planning to cancel or downgrade their cable/satellite package in the next 12 months, and 47 per cent of respondents looking to make some changes to the selection of TV streaming services they use.

Streaming shifts and the FlexiVOD emergence in Canada 

Whether they’re downgrading from paid to free, upgrading from free to paid, or even resubscribing to services, TV streamers are on the move. With more services available than ever before, consumers carefully pick and choose what they pay for. This FlexiVOD trend is likely influenced by the fact that 57 per cent of TV streamers feel they have less disposable income than before.

When it comes to content, live TV is winning popularity, with 49 per cent of Canadians watching live TV such as sports and other key events on demand through TV streaming. This is a significant increase from 30 per cent using VOD services to stream live TV in 2020.

The rise of ad-supported TV: A deeper dive 

As ad-supported TV popularity grows, Canadian TV streamers are spending five hours per week with it (an increase of 14 per cent year-over-year, which also includes BVOD). The majority (76 per cent) are also taking measurable actions such as searching for more information, visiting the brand, adding to basket, and more after seeing the ads.

When it comes to consumer preferences for TV advertising, nearly half (48 per cent) of streamers under 35 say they prefer when the tone of a TV ad matches the program in which they see it; and 47 per cent say they’re more likely to pay attention to ads that reflect or are relevant to their mood. Some Canadians are also interested in engaging with ad formats such as QR codes.

Additional insights: 

  • 29 per cent of streamers are “Cord Nevers,” i.e., consumers who have never paid for cable.
  • The average age of monthly TV streamers is 44.
  • More streamers are collectively watching programming with subtitles – 86 per cent of anglophone streamers and 64 per cent of francophone streamers – compared to dubbed content.

To learn more about the study, and to download the full report, please click here.

About Roku’s VOD Evolution Canada Survey

Roku’s 2023 Video on Demand (VOD) Evolution study examined Canadian TV streaming behaviour and trends. This is Roku’s third study of Canadians’ TV streaming habits, and an update to its research in 2020 and 2021. Like those, this study is based on the results of an online survey of Canadian adults aged 18+ who use the internet and watched TV at least once in the last month. Fuse Insights research commissioned by Roku took place between July and August 2022, with a sample size of 2,001 Canadians nationally representative by age, gender, and geography.

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