Canadian OTT reaches half the population

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 22 May 2015

Canadians love their OTT: Parks Associates research reveals that 58% of Canadian broadband households have at least one connected CE device allowing online content to be accessed through a TV set, a rise of 48% compared with 2012.

Nearly 40% of Canadian broadband households have a gaming console connected to the Internet, 25% have a connected smart TV, and 14% have a connected streaming media device.

According to the Emerging Power of IoT in Canada survey, more than 40% of these households connect a computer directly to a TV to access online content.

But as far as cord-cutting, only 4% of Canadian broadband households intend to cancel their broadband service completely. But, among people under 45 who use a VPN to access online video, nearly a quarter plan to cancel their cable or satellite TV service over the next 12 months.

Helping things along is the fact that the end of 2014 witnessed several new OTT services emerge in the Canadian market from Bell Canada, Rogers and Shaw.

"These services represent a potential deterrent to the growth of Netflix and other OTT services in Canada, as well as a new area of competition among Canadian pay-TV providers," said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates.

Interestingly, video downloads rank just below personal DVD/Blu-ray disk collections as a source of video in Canada, with 35% of broadband households watching downloaded video on a monthly basis.

Only about 12% of Canadian pay-TV households report having TV everywhere as part of their service, but a further 22% of Canadian broadband households express interest in receiving a free online movie service from their broadband service provider.

"Canadians are getting content for connected entertainment devices from a variety of sources. Nearly one-third of broadband households are downloading movies or TV shows at least once a month, and 8% are using VPN and proxy services to obtain content from foreign services," said John Barrett, director of consumer analytics at Parks Associates. "These sources are acting as alternatives to traditional cable and satellite TV services and putting competitive pressure on the market."