“Canada likes consuming video content. While linear TV once reigned supreme, on-demand streaming services now corner the market. When deciding what to subscribe to, Canadians are motivated by two major factors: cost and content. Consumers are drawn to quality content and appreciate the choice of tiered subscription models.”
– Candace Baldassarre, Research Analyst

Key issues covered in this Report

  • On-demand video content platforms used by Canadians.
  • Types of video content platforms accessed by Canadians.
  • Consumers’ attitudes towards video content consumption.
  • Consumers’ reasons for (un)subscribing to linear TV and live digital TV.
  • Consumers’ content consumption behaviours

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Top takeaways
            • Market overview
              • Figure 1: Category outlook: video content consumption, 2022-27
            • Opportunities
              • The battle comes down to content
                • Diverse consumers want diverse offerings
                  • Ads aren’t the enemy
                    • Challenges  
                      • Rising costs mean reconsidering entertainment
                        • Linear TV’s heyday has passed
                        • Market Factors

                          • Economic factors could have indirect effects
                            • Figure 2: Canadian Consumer Price Index, 2020-22
                            • Figure 3: Canadian market concerns (net any rank), 2022
                          • Growing interest rates are of growing concern
                            • Capitalizing on supply chain issues?
                              • Canada’s population is aging
                                • Figure 4: Canadian population age projections, yearly, 2000-40
                              • Canada as a cultural mosaic
                                • Figure 5: Top 10 countries of birth of recent Canadian immigrants, 2016
                              • The battle comes down to Canadian content: The Online Streaming Act
                                • Rising costs of credit-card business
                                • Competitive Strategies

                                  • The landscape is changing
                                    • Disney+ takes Marvel from Netflix
                                      • Amazon acquires TV and film giant MGM
                                        • Figure 6: MGM Studios Instagram post, 2022
                                        • Figure 7: Prime Video Canada Instagram post, 2022
                                      • Bill it to Bezos
                                        • Watching in Canada is distinctive
                                          • Keep YouTube yours
                                            • French language content
                                              • Figure 8: ICI RCT Tele Instagram post, 2022
                                            • Price is a key concern
                                              • Working the subscription system
                                                • Netflix partnering with Microsoft to offer ads
                                                  • Internet is the new delivery vehicle
                                                    • What happens when it goes down?
                                                      • Rural watching is different
                                                      • Video Content Consumption – Fast Facts

                                                        • Linear TV has Competition

                                                          • Canadians cutting ties with cable and satellite
                                                            • Figure 9: Usage of video sources, 2022
                                                          • Linear TV’s popularity is generational
                                                            • Figure 10: Household unsubscribed from standard pay TV (ie cable/satellite) in the past two years, by age, 2022
                                                            • Figure 11: Usage of cable/satellite in the past 3 months, by age, 2022
                                                            • Figure 12: Usage of on-demand streaming services in the past 3 months, by age, 2022
                                                          • Hybrid TV is mitigating the burden of choice for younger Canadians
                                                            • Figure 13: Rogers Ignite TV and Internet Bundle direct mail advertisement, 2022
                                                            • Figure 14: “I would like to have a streaming service pick something for me to watch” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                          • Content is a motivator for leaving linear TV
                                                            • Figure 15: Stranger Things customer communication, 2022
                                                            • Figure 16: “There has been a lack of new and exciting shows on streaming services in the past 6 months” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                          • Free streaming services are disrupting linear TV
                                                            • Figure 17: Usage of free streaming services in the past 3 months, by age, 2022
                                                          • Younger people want their content short and relatable
                                                            • Sports streaming is a young game
                                                              • Figure 18: Usage of live sports services in the past 3 months, by age and gender, 2022
                                                            • Free streaming offers cross-cultural possibility
                                                              • Figure 19: Usage of video sources, Chinese and South Asian consumers vs overall, 2022
                                                            • Parents and families are key content consumers
                                                              • Figure 20: Usage of video sources, by parental status, 2022
                                                          • On-demand Streaming Services

                                                            • Top streaming services
                                                              • Figure 21: On-demand streaming services currently used, 2022
                                                              • Figure 22: On-demand streaming services currently used, by age, 2022
                                                            • Netflix’s challengers: Amazon Prime Video (and Disney+)
                                                              • Figure 23: Prime Video post on Instagram, 2022
                                                              • Figure 24: Disney+ Instagram post, 2022
                                                            • Amazon Prime Video (and Disney+) stagnate among French-speaking Quebecers
                                                              • Figure 25: Amazon Prime Video usage, by region, 2022
                                                              • Figure 26: Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ usage, English- vs French-speaking Quebecers, 2022
                                                            • Selling original content
                                                              • Figure 27: Crave Instagram post, 2022
                                                            • YouTube versus YouTube Premium
                                                                • Figure 28: YouTube Premium mobile advertisement, 2020
                                                              • Downloading video content
                                                                • Figure 29: YouTube Premium usage, by location, 2022
                                                              • A morning in the life of a transit-riding video consumer
                                                              • Price and Value as Driver

                                                                • Cutting back on subscriptions
                                                                  • Figure 30: “With the rising cost of living, it makes sense to cut back on subscribing to multiple video streaming services” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                  • Figure 31: “I am planning on cancelling a streaming service I subscribe to” (% agree), Chinese and South Asians vs overall, 2022
                                                                • Free and discounted trials
                                                                  • Figure 32: “A free trial has helped convince me to become a paying subscriber” (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                                • Please don’t go!
                                                                  • Figure 33: Hayusocial Instagram post, 2022
                                                                • Encountering ads
                                                                  • Figure 34: “I am willing to encounter ads if it means lower-priced subscription costs” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                • Account sharing as subversive cost-cutting
                                                                  • Figure 35: “I’d rather not trade login information with friends or family to access more streaming services due to the risk” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                              • How People Watch

                                                                • Shifting user experience of at-home entertainment
                                                                  • Binge watching
                                                                    • Figure 36: “I have stayed up very late binge watching on demand content” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                  • Weekly versus all-at-once watching
                                                                    • Figure 37: “I prefer shows that release an entire episode at once instead of waiting for new episodes to become available” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                  • TV as background noise
                                                                    • Figure 38: “I like to put on shows/movies I’ve already seen as background noise” (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                                                  • Sharing reactions on social media
                                                                    • Figure 39: “I often share my thoughts/reactions to TV content with others on social media” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                • Live Digital TV/IPTV Spotlight

                                                                  • Better value than linear TV
                                                                    • Figure 40: Usage of live digital TV services in the past 3 months, men vs women, 2022
                                                                    • Figure 41: Rivertv Instagram post, 2022
                                                                  • Down for DVR
                                                                    • Figure 42: “I use a DVR feature from my live digital TV service” (% any agree), by age, 2022
                                                                  • Curated content
                                                                    • Figure 43: Motivations for subscribing to a streaming pay TV service, by age, 2022
                                                                  • Multicultural and French offerings
                                                                    • News and sports
                                                                      • Figure 44: Sports are a big reason why I have live digital TV, men by age, 2022
                                                                    • Materiality of interface
                                                                      • Figure 45: Improved user interface would motivate me to subscribe to a live digital TV service, by age, 2022
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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