How Canadians Purchase and Consume Content is Rapidly Changing, Study Finds

Posted by Taryn McMillan

Online or offline? That seems to be the big question in a new survey conducted by the Department of Canadian Heritage on how Canadians prefer to consume homegrown media.

The findings of the survey, which was conducted in June 2012, reveal some interesting statistics about the accessibility of Canadian films, books, movies, and television. The results indicate that while the majority of Canadians are interested in homegrown content, they wish it was more widely available to the general public.

According to the report, digital media may be the key to making Canadian content more accessible. Many Canadians already prefer to buy their music online, with 40% of respondents saying they planned to do so within the next six months.

At the same time, fewer Canadians are buying physical copies of albums.  Over 10% of survey correspondents said that they are done buying CDs for the foreseeable future.

A major barrier to accessing music online appears to be cost. Less than a quarter of respondents said that they would be interested in joining a monthly paid streaming service. Those surveyed were slightly more enthusiastic about free streaming services that run advertisements, but they have yet to gain traction with Canadian audiences.

The study also shows that film and television buffs head online for content. One-third of respondents admitted to downloading movies, and there's been a noticeable jump in the number of Canadians using pay per view or on demand services since 2005.

The rise of online streaming is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the popularity of DVDs and Blu-rays. While two-thirds of Canadians still purchase DVDs, video stores are much less popular than they used to be. Compared to a 2005 survey, the number of visitors to stores in 2012 was reduced by almost half.

The one exception to sourcing online content is in reading materials. While 70% of Canadians read print magazines, only 30% download digital copies. Almost a quarter of respondents replied that they prefer print over digital magazines, and 13% responded that they did not own a tablet or e-reader.

Whether or not they get their content online, Canadian consumers exemplify the mantra "love where you live." If there's one thing to take away from the study, it's that almost all respondents agreed Canadian media was important. Over 90% said that they valued access to Canadian music and literature, and over 70% were interested in watching Canadian movies.

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Taryn McMillan

Taryn McMillan

Taryn is a writer, educator, and doctoral student from Mississauga, Ontario. When she's not writing about technology, she is studying early modern history or playing and reviewing video games. Taryn has a B.A. in History and Theatre from York University and an M.A. in History from McMaster University. more




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