Online-Only TV Viewership? It’s Rising—But Not Sky-Rocketing

August 19, 2022
Online-Only TV Viewership? It’s Rising—But Not Sky-Rocketing

The numbers are in. Broadcast experts, Media Technology Monitor (MTM), have just released a new report on the number of Canadians choosing online TV over cable or antenna broadcast. MTM calls this group of consumers "TV My Way Canadians" and reports membership in that group has doubled since 2003—sitting at 11%. Doom and gloom for broadcast media? Not quite.

For now, online-only TV viewership is flourishing mainly among young Canadians—28% of students and 25% of all 18-34 year olds in Canada fall under the "TV My Way" bracket. Marketers already know that targeting this group requires a rethink of traditional advertising techniques, which is why so many are looking to Instagram stories and Snapchat for digital Direct Response campaigns.

So what do these new numbers spell for the direct marketing industry? For one thing, Canadians, for the most part, are still loyal to broadcast. In fact, online-only TV viewers are watching less TV (8.2 hours) when compared to the average Canadian who watches 16 hours of programming per week—TV commercials and all. And while numbers of online-only TV viewers slowly rise across Canada, only 5% of Francophones are currently without cable or antenna. MTM believes this discrepancy has to do with the prevalence of English-language programming on streaming.

So while the rise of mobile TV and streaming services continue to woo young Canadians to different platforms, the majority of Canada is still tuning in over cable or over the air. In the meantime, direct marketers need to focus on campaigns that consider how Canadians are watching TV, not just who is watching.