Jive Talkin’ – Video and the Evolution of Simultaneous Viewing in Canada

A few times a year, we start to see headlines prophesizing the end of TV as we know it.  “TV is dead… cord cutters unite!”… our media industry is the absolute best at sensationalizing everything. But if you ask me, television is about as dead as the combustion engine.  


In Videology’s recently commissioned consumer and marketer video consumption study conducted by Marketing Magazine, 84% of Canadians still subscribe to a cable or satellite service, and among them, the ever disruptive millennials still hold firm at 80%. It’s incredible to witness our addiction to video and “connectability,” which have forced many industries to change. From appliances, to watches, to the automobile, it’s changing the foundation of the family home. We simply can’t get enough video, and even your grandma knows about Netflix. 


There are various reasons why consumers are choosing online video today. Gen X’ers place significant value on control as the leading driver, while boomers and pre-boomer seniors value the on-demand aspect of content and fewer ads as the lead triggers, over freedom of where to watch. Traditional television content is high on the demand list, and the recent broadcaster TV-everywhere offerings presented by cable providers are gaining traction, while nearly an equivalent amount of respondents access content via Netflix subscriptions (35%). Movies, Canadian Content and local news were the favoured programming drivers.


With life getting busier by the second (ask any hockey parent out there), and with the same hours in a day since the dawn of time, where are 25% of our respondents finding the time to consume more video? Simultaneous viewing and the second screen! 


Leading the charge of insatiable second screen consumption are of course the millennials, followed closely by gen X’ers. Most second-screeners are using a laptop simultaneously to their TV viewing, but they are also using smartphones, tablets, and even desktops. And what are they doing on these screens? Some are accessing content unrelated to the TV program, but an equal number are accessing content related to what they are watching.  One thing is for sure: it’s not about “either/or” when it comes to TV and internet-enabled content. 


If TV is king, then video is the prince, and while Canadians spend an average of 14.3 hours per week with linear television viewing, they also spend six hours a week with online video, a number that’s more than tripled in three years. 


The only thing that’s dead is the previous way we consumed video, giving way to true on-demand access via new ways of enjoying a world of shiny new content with accessibility at your finger tips. Perhaps the most interesting development is how socially unacceptable it is to have our faces in our devices, while missing life’s events that are happening right in front of us. A good reminder that my personal priorities have changed (not for the better) is when my child has had to ask me to look up from my device to share some exciting news. 


Technology allowed Alan Turing to crack Enigma and put an end to WWII, and sitting at your IBM Aptiva or Commodore desktop has given way to standing desks and walking meetings with cell phones, it should be of no surprise that the bube-tube has undergone seismic change!


To learn more about what’s next for digital video in Canada, read our new research paper, commissioned by Videology and conducted by Marketing Magazine & Rogers Connect Market Research.

Ryan Ladisa

Vice President, Sales, Canada

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