Study Finds Canadians Choosing TV Series Over Films


MONTREAL: Canadians are more likely to watch TV series instead of movies, according to a new study on Canadian viewing habits that also confirmed most film viewing is done through television.

The report, commissioned by Telefilm Canada, the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) and the Canada Media Fund (CMF), also found that consumers are increasingly seeking on-demand access to audiovisual products across a wide variety of platforms. While the TV screen continues to be the main viewing window, there has been a shift to ad-free viewing on-demand, driven, among other things, by personal video recorders, streaming, free downloading and VOD. The subscription viewing model seems to be the favored approach, as opposed to the one-at-a-time or ad-supported model.

Additionally, the distinction between the worlds of film and TV series appears to be dwindling, according to the study. Binge viewing is now a widespread practice thanks to the abundance of high-quality TV series that keep viewers “hooked” over extended periods of time and are available on-demand on several platforms. Movie-going, meanwhile, is considered a more expensive undertaking reserved for major productions and treated as a social event, with participants often knowing in advance which movie they want to see in a theater.

“As I recently stated during my appearance at the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians, I believe that innovation with regard to accessibility and consumer engagement is essential if we want Canadian content to really resonate with audiences,” said Carolle Brabant, the executive director of Telefilm Canada. “Every time content is shown on the big screen, broadcast on television or made available on digital platforms, we have incredible opportunities to promote Canadian talent, not only to Canadians, but to the world.”

Added Monique Simard, the president and CEO of SODEC: “We’re seeing that the multi-screen phenomenon is very positive, because it means that a wider variety of audiences have access to cultural products and these products are more accessible.”

Valerie Creighton, the president and CEO of the CMF, continued: “The technology choices available to consumers today transform their entertainment consumption to a personalized, portable, shareable, on-demand experience, and this new report provides solid evidence that Canadians want access to content at any time, from anywhere, on their platform of choice.”