Canadian OTT market to be worth $614 million by 2017: PWC

The consulting firm projects the North American electronic home video market will be $14.8 billion in 2017, bigger than the theatrical film market's $13.5 billion.

The Canadian over-the-top (OTT) market, which was born only in 2010 when Netflix launched north of the border, will be worth $614 million by 2017, according to consulting firm PWC.

Revealing the projection in the firm’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2013-2017, released Wednesday, the company said the Canadian OTT market is growing at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.2%, in part due not only to the success of Netflix but also to the entry of numerous other streaming players, such as iTunes, and, an offering from funders Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada.

It is in part due to that strong growth rate in Canada and the U.S. that the annual value of North America’s electronic home video market (both pay-TV and OTT streaming services) is forecast to surpass the theatrical box office’s value for the first time in 2017. By that year, North America’s electronic home video market will be worth $14.8 billion annually, compared to the theatrical sector’s $13.5 billion annually.

However, PWC didn’t foresee this as a sign of the demise of the Canadian film industry. In fact, it projected the Canuck film sector will be worth $3.4 billion by the end of 2017, up from $3.1 billion in 2012. That is a CAGR of 2.2%.

Perhaps due in part to the addition of OTT services to cable packages, PWC expected the total of pay-TV subscribers in Canada to increase by 800,000 between 2012 and 2017, to reach 12.6 million. Despite this growth in the subscriber base, the value of those subscriptions however is to drop by a CAGR of 1.2% between 2013 and 2017, from $6.8 billion annually today to $6.5 billion in five years (Note, PWC didn’t include the OTT market value in its tabulations and discussions of the TV industry).

It noted that the sector’s four main players – Rogers, Shaw, Videotron and Cogeco – account for 89% of all cable TV subscriptions.

The TV sectors total revenues (combining advertising money and satellite subscriptions), are set to rise from $1.9 billion in 2012 to $2.3 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 3.6%. Of that total, satellite subscriptions accounted for a robust $260 million in 2012, rising to $387 million, a CAGR of 8.3%.

TV advertising revenues now well above pre-recession levels. PWC noted that after a soft 2012, when growth of just over 1% was seen, the prospects are now for steady growth of between 1.6% and 3.1% in the years from 2013 to 2017.

In 2012, TV accounted for 27% of total advertising spending in Canada, a level similar to that in other developed TV markets. After growing continuously since 2009, the TV ad market was set to grow continuously between 2012 and 2017, with net revenues reaching $4.1 billion in 2017.

Meanwhile, PWC calculates that the Canadian online advertising revenues reached $3.2 billion in 2012, up from $2.8 billion in 2011. By 2017, the market will be worth $6.4 billion, due to a CAGR of 14.5% over the period.

It bears emphasizing that online ad spending will be $2.1 billion higher than TV ad spending in 2017. That finding echoes a Canadian Marketing Association finding released last fall, which projected online ad spending to surpass TV ad spending by 2016.

With a market share of 41% of online ad-spend in 2012, search is the leading ad format in Canada.

The search market was worth $1.3 billion in 2012 and will grow to $2.6 billion in 2017 (but on a percentage basis it will actually drop a hair, to 40% of the total online ad-spend market). Google is, and will likely remain, the dominant player.

As well, online display advertising was worth $916 million in 2012; it will rise to $1.7 billion in 2017. It accounted for a 28% share of the online ad market in 2012 (Its market share will also drop a notch by 2017, to 27%).

Mobile advertising is growing at a furious rate. Revenues from this sector are forecast to increase from $113 million in 2012 to $311 million in 2017, a CAGR of 22.4%.

PWC also said that, after falling by 10.1% to $453 million in 2009, revenues generated by the Canadian OOH market rose again to reach $565mn in 2012. Revenues from the niche are forecast to grow by 6.6% annually to reach $778 million by 2017.