More Than Half of Canadian TV Streamers Now Stream Ad-Supported TV

“FlexiVODs” emerge: 47 per cent of TV streamers are considering changing streaming subscriptions

  • 76 per cent of Canadians are now TV streamers, and 18 per cent plan to cancel or downgrade their cable or satellite package
  • More than half of Canadian TV streamers watch ad-supported TV

TORONTO — Roku revealed the results of its third annual Video-on-Demand (VOD) Evolution study, examining Canadian TV streaming behaviours and trends. According to the study, three quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians are TV streamers, and ad-supported TV is on the rise with over half (52 per cent) tuning in.

“TV streamers are more responsive on streaming platforms to ads than non-TV streamers who see ads on TV, which can be attributed to the lighter ad-load through TV streaming”

The current macro-economic situation seems to have had an impact on Canadian TV households, with 18 per cent planning to cancel or downgrade their cable/satellite package in the next 12 months, and 47 per cent of respondents looking to make some changes to the selection of TV streaming services they use.

“For Canadian TV streamers, flexibility for the type of entertainment they want, anytime they want, is what makes streaming so appealing,” said Christina Summers, head of advertising in Canada, Roku. “The growth in TV streaming gives an advantage to both marketers and publishers, too. Marketers can extend their reach beyond traditional TV broadcasting with stronger targeting, measurement, and ROI outcomes. And publishers can tap into new audience segments and better monetize existing and often dormant catalogues.”

Streaming shifts and the FlexiVOD emergence in Canada

Whether they’re downgrading from paid to free, upgrading from free to paid, or even resubscribing to services, TV streamers are on the move. With more services available than ever before, consumers carefully pick and choose what they pay for. This FlexiVOD trend is likely influenced by the fact that 57 per cent of TV streamers feel they have less disposable income than before.

When it comes to content, live TV is winning popularity, with 49 per cent of Canadians watching live TV such as sports and other key events on demand through TV streaming. This is a significant increase from 30 per cent using VOD services to stream live TV in 2020.

The rise of ad-supported TV: A deeper dive

As ad-supported TV popularity grows, Canadian TV streamers are spending five hours per week with it (an increase of 14 per cent year-over-year, which also includes BVOD). The majority (76 per cent) are also taking measurable actions such as searching for more information, visiting the brand, adding to basket, and more after seeing the ads.

When it comes to consumer preferences for TV advertising, nearly half (48 per cent) of streamers under 35 say they prefer when the tone of a TV ad matches the program in which they see it; and 47 per cent say they’re more likely to pay attention to ads that reflect or are relevant to their mood. Some Canadians are also interested in engaging with ad formats such as QR codes.

“TV streamers are more responsive on streaming platforms to ads than non-TV streamers who see ads on TV, which can be attributed to the lighter ad-load through TV streaming,” said Summers. “Channels like The Roku Channel, Roku’s own ad-supported TV streaming service, make OTT advertising a better prospect for everyone involved – it’s a win-win for everyone in the TV streaming ecosystem.”

Additional insights:

  • 29 per cent of streamers are “Cord Nevers,” i.e., consumers who have never paid for cable.
  • The average age of monthly TV streamers is 44.
  • More streamers are collectively watching programming with subtitles – 86 per cent of anglophone streamers and 64 per cent of francophone streamers – compared to dubbed content.

To learn more about the study, and to download the full report, please click here.

About Roku’s VOD Evolution Canada Survey

Roku’s 2023 Video on Demand (VOD) Evolution study examined Canadian TV streaming behaviour and trends. This is Roku’s third study of Canadians’ TV streaming habits, and an update to its research in 2020 and 2021. Like those, this study is based on the results of an online survey of Canadian adults aged 18+ who use the internet and watched TV at least once in the last month. Fuse Insights research commissioned by Roku took place between July and August 2022, with a sample size of 2,001 Canadians nationally representative by age, gender, and geography.

About Roku, Inc.

Roku pioneered streaming to the TV. We connect users to the streaming content they love, enable content publishers to build and monetize large audiences, and provide advertisers with unique capabilities to engage consumers. Roku streaming players and TV-related audio devices are available in the U.S. and in select countries through direct retail sales and licensing arrangements with service operators. Roku TV™ models are available in the U.S. and in select countries through licensing arrangements with TV OEM brands. Roku Smart Home products, including cameras, video doorbells, lighting, plugs, and more are available in the U.S. Roku is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. U.S.A.