TV still king of multi-screen Canada, but reign is under threat: study

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A new report by the Media Technology Monitor suggests that while Canadian consumers are increasingly using mobile devices and the internet to consume media, the TV should retain its crown as the go-to screen for TV and video consumers when services are targeted at multiple screens.

The report, made up primarily of data gathered for the Ottawa-based research group’s combined 2011-2012 survey, looks at the consumption habits of so-called four-screen Canadians (those who have internet access on four different devices), and compares them to the habits of Canadians who have access to fewer screens.

According to the data, internet-capable TVs are currently lagging behind computers and tablets as the go-to screen for online video and TV. However, MTM warns that this is because online video and TV services have yet to be designed with TVs in mind.

Among four-screen Canadians, who make up 3% of the population, 76% use computers and 66% use tablets to watch online videos, while 54% use TVs.

Similarly, 52% of four-screen Canadians use their computers and 39% use tablets to watch online TV, while 37% use TVs.

But the TV remains the dominant screen for Netflix, with 100% of four-screen users saying they watch the VOD service on TVs, while 51% use computers and 54% use tablets.

While it’s unknown whether content creators will target internet-capable TVs for online video and TV, or continue to make media more consumable anywhere, at any time on any device, the report makes one thing clear; more devices means more consumption – online, at least.

According to MTM’s statistics, the average Canadian internet user watches three hours of online videos, one hour of internet TV and one hour of Netflix per week.

Meanwhile, four-screen Canadians watch more than five hours of online videos, and about two and a half hours of both online TV and Netflix per week.

However, four-screen Canadians watch fewer hours of traditional TV at almost 12 per week, while typical Canadians watch more than 14 hours of TV.

MTM is a product of CBC/Radio-Canada Research and Analysis.

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