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Canada Digital Content Consumption Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Content Consumption market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report focuses on digital content consumption among Canadian consumers. Digital content includes information that is digitally broadcasted, streamed, or contained in computer files.

For the purposes of this report, digital content includes:

  • online articles
  • online news
  • forums
  • blogs
  • social media
  • digital audio
  • digital video
  • streaming services

What you need to know

Although a significant share of users consume digital content, leading consumer behaviour exhibits that many have watched/ downloaded free movies and/or TV shows online. With plenty of free digital content that can be found over the internet, accessibility to these mediums is easier than ever. Consequently, brands in the category will need to emphasize the strong points of their services/ products and provide a cost-effective, efficient, and expansive library of content to win consumers and mitigate the probability that they seek unlawful content.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Andrew Zmijak, a leading analyst in the Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The vast majority of consumers who have performed online activities have done so at least once per month. This includes online activities such as reading/watching news online, reading articles on websites, reading articles on social media, watching videos on social media, viewing/sharing photos online, using a video streaming service, watching live sports online, watching TV shows online, and using apps for digital content. Andrew Zmijak
Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Cost is an issue among younger consumers
            • Figure 1: Cost-related consumption behaviour, by age, August 2018
          • Older cohorts are less likely to use most video services
            • Figure 2: Use of video services (select), by age, August 2018
          • Leading sentiment reveals it is easy to find paid content for free online
            • Figure 3: Attitudes to digital content (select), August 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Programming affects likelihood of streaming subscription
              • Figure 4: Show-specific behaviour, by age, August 2018
            • Parents more likely to consume digital content
              • Figure 5: Content consumption, parents vs overall, August 2018
            • Many believe digital content should be cheaper than the equivalent in physical form
              • Figure 6: Attitudes to digital content (select), August 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • CRTC pushes funding of Canadian content
                • Estimated growth of younger cohorts will benefit category
                  • Elevated smartphone ownership bodes well for category
                    • Improved perceptions of financial health a boon for service providers
                    • Market Factors

                      • CRTC wants streaming services to fund Canadian content
                        • Projected growth of younger groups will benefit the category
                          • Figure 7: Projected trends in the age structure of the Canada population, 2014-19
                        • High smartphone ownership bodes well for the category
                          • Increased interest in entertainment a boon for content providers
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • Brands highlighting their original content
                              • Promoting free trials
                                • Streaming services are preferred
                                  • Many are accessing content for free
                                    • Investment into original video content
                                    • Marketing and Advertising

                                      • Brands spotlighting their original content
                                        • Figure 8: Netflix – The Crown, mobile ad, August 2018
                                        • Figure 9: Netflix – Marlon, informational email, August 2018
                                        • Figure 10: HBO Canada – Being Serena, mobile ad, May 2018
                                        • Figure 11: HBO Canada – Westworld, mobile ad, June 2018
                                      • Promoting free trials
                                        • Figure 12: Amazon Prime, mobile ad, September 2018
                                        • Figure 13: CraveTV, acquisition mailing, December 2017
                                      • Spotify available on Xbox One
                                        • Figure 14: Spotify – Now on Xbox One, August 2017
                                      • Rogers takes effortless access to a new level
                                        • Figure 15: Rogers Canada – Join the Revolution with Ignite TV, July 2018
                                    • What’s Working?

                                      • Streaming services are preferred
                                        • Social media brands attract many eyes
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Many are accessing content for free
                                            • The cost of digital content can be a barrier
                                            • What’s Next?

                                              • Original content continues to ramp up
                                                • Up-and-coming digital content services
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Most use a computer to access the internet
                                                    • Most read/watch news online
                                                      • YouTube tops the list of video services used
                                                        • Cost an issue among younger cohorts
                                                          • A third agree that it is easy to find paid content for free online
                                                          • Devices Used to Access the Internet

                                                            • Canadians most commonly use a computer to access the net
                                                              • Figure 16: Devices used to access the internet, August 2018
                                                            • Women more likely to use tablet/e-reader to surf the web
                                                              • Figure 17: Devices used to access the internet (select), men vs women, August 2018
                                                            • Generational differences with devices used to access the internet
                                                                • Figure 18: Devices used to access the internet, 18-44s vs over-45s, August 2018
                                                              • Parents more likely to access the net via most devices
                                                                • Figure 19: Devices used to access the internet, parents vs overall, August 2018
                                                            • Content Consumption and Frequency

                                                              • Most read/watch news online
                                                                • Figure 20: Content consumption and frequency, August 2018
                                                              • Younger cohorts are avid consumers of digital content
                                                                • Figure 21: Content consumption, 18-44s vs over-45s, August 2018
                                                              • Parents more likely to consume digital content
                                                                • Figure 22: Content consumption, parents vs overall, August 2018
                                                            • Use of Video Services

                                                              • YouTube prevails among those who watch videos online
                                                                  • Figure 23: Use of video services, August 2018
                                                                • Younger viewers are more likely to use most sources
                                                                  • Figure 24: Use of video services (select), by age, August 2018
                                                                • Parents more likely to use video streaming services
                                                                  • Figure 25: Use of video services, parents vs overall, August 2018
                                                              • Content Consumption Behaviour

                                                                • Cost is certainly an issue
                                                                  • Figure 26: Cost-related consumption behaviour, by age, August 2018
                                                                • Programming impacts likelihood of streaming subscription
                                                                  • Figure 27: Show-specific behaviour, by age, August 2018
                                                              • Attitudes towards Digital Content

                                                                • A third agree that it is easy to find paid content for free online
                                                                    • Figure 28: Cost-related attitudes towards digital content, August 2018
                                                                  • Some believe it is wrong to use/download unpaid content online
                                                                    • Online content should be cheaper than equivalent in physical form
                                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes to digital content (select), August 2018
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations