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Streaming services in Canada: Statistics

Each Canadian is expected to spend an average of $157 on streaming services in 2022

Canadians love to be entertained. Whether it’s tuning into our favourite TV show, watching a movie, listening to music or playing the trendiest video game, we are a nation that loves to see, watch and experience the latest and best on-demand home entertainment options.

While some Canadians continue to download media most now use on-demand services to play games, listen to music, get the news or watch the latest movie or TV show. But at what cost?

To appreciate what’s popular — and at what cost — here is a snapshot of streaming statistics, a review of what’s popular in video and music streaming services, along with an overview of the cost for these on-demand entertainment services.

Streaming services in Canada: Fast facts

According to industry projections, the use of on-demand services continues to grow and by 2027, the number of global streaming service subscriptions will reach 1.7 billion, up from 1.2 billion in 2021.(1)

In Canada, the number of households with streaming services is expected to grow over the next half decade. In 2017, just over half (57%) of households used at least one on-demand streaming service, by 2023, just over 123% households will use an on-demand streaming service, according to a DigitalTVResearch report.(2) This increase reflects not just the number of households choosing to subscribe to on-demand services, but an increase in the number of subscription services in each Canadian household.

Streaming services: Key statistics

$201.84— Average USD revenue earned from each Canadian streaming subscriber in 2023 (3)
22% — Canadians paid for a music streaming service in 2022 (up from 10% in 2019)(4)
11 — Average number of hours a Canadian adult spends each week streaming on any device(5)
21 — Average number of hours a Canadian adult spends watching TV or video content, each week(6)
45% — Canadians subscribe to Netflix making it the #1 streaming service in Canada in 2022(7)
46% — Canadians own a smart TV (up from 28% in 2019)(8)
31% — Canadians use YouTube as music streaming service (9)

TV streaming Canada: Statistics on cable vs streaming service

At one point, CableTV was the only kid on the block. The advantage of CableTV was that it was the jack-of-all-trades — it offered a bit of everything to everyone. Now, with streaming services and access to Canadian, US and international on-demand services, cable’s broad reach is starting to shrink. But it’s not completely gone.

According to studies from Vividata, a Toronto-based not-for-profit industry organization, where more than 35,000 Canadians are surveyed on their cable and streaming use, Canadians are choosing streaming services over cable, but not abandoning regular TV, just yet.

In their 2021 study, 65% of Canadian adults preferred watching cable TV, while 61% preferred streaming their entertainment. (Multiple viewing options were allowed). The updated Vividata 2022 report shows that 56% of Canadians regularly watch cable TV, compared to 68% of Canadians who regularly watch streaming services.

Streaming in Canada projected to grow

Despite reports of declining earnings(10) and a drop in the number of subscribers, there still appears to be room for revenue growth in the streaming services market.

In Canada, revenue in the video streaming segment reached $476 million in 2020. According to Statista, projected revenue growth was estimated at a rate of 8.9% per year. Based on these numbers, this works out to an average revenue of $67 per user.(11)

However, pandemic restrictions altered this landscape. Now, projections estimate that the share of households in Canada with at least one subscription to a streaming service will go from 57% in 2017 to 123% by 2023—reflecting a larger percentage of the Canadian population opting for on-demand streaming and a larger number of subscribers electing for more than one streaming service. As a result, projected annual revenue now estimates that the average revenue is now closer to $157 per user in 2022.

Year-over-year growth in video streaming services

When comparing year-over-year search demand, a pattern of interest and demand begins to emerge.

For instance, the search demand for nine streaming sites showed that from April 2019 to April 2020, showed that all but one on-demand service experienced an increase in interest for their services.

Amazon Prime Video led with 179% increase in unique visits to their home page, followed by sports-focused fuboTV at 91% and documentary platform CuriosityStream at 86%.

Pandemic push

During the early days of the pandemic, in 2020, the streaming services that saw the biggest increases in interest were Sundance Now (42%), Netflix (33%), Acorn TV (29%) and Disney Plus (28%) – based on user traffic between February and March 2020.

However, the three online streaming services with the largest traffic increase were:

  1. Shudder – the thriller streaming site – 81%
  2. Amazon Prime Video – 63%
  3. Disney Plus – 48%

Rising Costs and the impact on streaming service subscriptions

The cost of virtually all expenses paid by Canadians has gone up, over the last year. Inflation swept the globe and Canadians were left with tackling the rising cost of living.

For many Canadians this meant looking for ways to stretch the dollar or cut costs. In the recent Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2, 73% of Canadians confessed to spending more than they saved, each month. Asked where they'd cut costs and the top three responses were:

  1. Groceries, eating out and take out (49%)
  2. Entertainment tickets, eg: sports, movies, plays and events (45%)
  3. Clothing, footwear and accessories (42%)

Less than a quarter (23%) were willing to trim cable and streaming services to cut back on monthly spending. Turns out more than half (54%) are keeping Netflix, despite rising costs when it comes to streaming service subscriptions. Half of current Amazon Prime Video subscribers (50%) would keep paying for the on-demand streaming service, while another 41% would keep Disney+ (multiple responses allowed).

To find savings, the top three streaming services Canadians considering cancelling over the next three months, (multiple responses allowed) included:

  1. SiriusXM (24%)
  2. Live-stream gaming, eg: Twitch, Mixer (23%)
  3. Crave (23%)

Favourite video streaming services in Canada

The shift to streaming appears to have begun after Netflix launched in Canada just over a decade ago. It's no surprise, then, that the on-demand movie and entertainment service tops the list of most popular streaming services in Canada, with an estimated 45% market share. To find out more, check out our complete Netflix guide.

However, new contenders in the on-demand space are certainly vying for subscription dollars.

One of the strongest competitors in this space is Amazon Prime Video. This on-demand service was first introduced to Prime members as a bonus to their monthly Amazon priority shipping subscription.

In recent years, Amazon has been upping its game and featuring award-winning original content, which may be part of why it now captures approximately 25% of the market share in Canada. Check out our Amazon Prime Video guide.

Another popular streaming service is Apple TV Plus. Launched in 2019, this streaming service not only gave Apple fans their own method for on-demand entertainment but their commitment to original content means it's one of the few streaming platforms to launch as a direct competitor to large, traditional, production houses. Check out our Apple TV Plus guide.

Finally, the family-focused Disney brand also threw its hat into the ring when it launched Disney Plus in 2019. Since its launch, the on-demand streaming channel has converted many families into streaming households. Not only does Disney Plus feature all the familiar classics, but the latest from smash-hit production companies like Pixar, Marvel Universe and the Star Wars franchise. Check out our Disney Plus guide.

Favourite music streaming services in Canada

Between 2019 and 2022, the use of paid music streaming services more than doubled in Canada, according to data collected by Vividata, with 10% of Canadians paying to music streaming services in 2019 compared to 22% in 2022.(12)

While paid services are growing quickly in popularity, free audio streaming services are also growing, albeit at a slower rate — from 27% in 2019 to 36% in 2022.

The most popular music streaming service is YouTube (31%) followed by Spotify (26%).(13)

What is the best streaming service?

It's difficult to determine the best streaming service, since so many variables are subjective. Does cost outweigh coverage? What about services that only offer specific or niche content? To consider the best streaming service, we considered what streaming services were most popular — not just in Canada, but worldwide.

Three streaming services are widely available across the globe: Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime. Based on results from the Finder: Most Popular Streaming Service report,(14) Netflix is still the most popular streaming service in Canada. Roughly 42% of the 1,192 Canadian respondents say they currently have access to a subscription to Netflix.

Streaming services available in Canada

The popularity of streaming services in Canada appears to be increasing as more options are made available in the marketplace. These days, a simple question — "What streaming networks are available in Canada?" — has a rather complicated answer. There are stand-alone streaming services as well as add-ons streaming services only available through TV package options from internet providers.

While the list of streaming services available in Canada does change frequently, the major players include:

Video Streaming ServicesCostWhere to Get
  • Netflix Basic with ads: $5.99/month
  • Netflix Basic (no ads): $9.99/month
  • Netflix Standard:
  • $16.49/month
  • Netflix Premium: $20.99/month
  • Add-on: $0 to $60 / year (depending on internet provider)
  • Direct: Set up a Netflix account and stream through SmartTV, streaming media player, game console, smartphone, tablets, PCs and laptops
  • Add on: As part of a streaming package or as an add-on streaming service through internet service provider
  • VPN: Not required for Canadian content
  • Daily: $7.99
  • Monthly: $19.99
  • Annual Pass: $199.92 ($16.66 / month
  • Add-on: $0+ (depending on internet provider)
  • Direct: Set up TSN account and stream through SmartTV, streaming media player, game console, smartphone, tablets, PCs and laptops
  • Add on: As part of a streaming package or as an add-on streaming service through internet service provider
  • VPN: Not required for Canadian content. If watching outside of Canada, you will need a VPN
Amazon Prime Video
  • Monthly: $9.99
  • Annual: $
  • Add-on: $5+ / month (depending on internet service provider)
  • Direct: Set up Amazon Prime account and then link account to stream on any device, including a SmartTV, streaming media player, game console, smartphone, tablets, PCs and laptops
  • Add-on: Some internet providers include Amazon Prime Video as a premium add-on channel
  • VPN: Not required
  • Deal

    FREE 30-day trial on Prime Video

    Get Prime Video at Amazon with FREE 30-day trial. T&Cs apply.
  • Crave Mobile - Monthly: $9.99
  • Crave Total - Monthly: $19.99
  • Crave Total - Annual: $199.90
  • Add-on: $0 - $60 / year
  • Direct: Set up Crave account and stream through SmartTV, streaming media player (such as Google Chromecast), game console, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets
  • Add on: Can be included for free if included as part of premium package with certain internet providers, or for an additional cost
  • VPN: Not required. Content is only available in Canada.
  • Monthly: $11.99
  • Annual: $119.99
  • Add-on: hard to find
  • Direct: Set up Disney+ account and stream through SmartTV, streaming media player (such as Google Chromecast), game console, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets
  • Add on: Some internet providers include Disney channel, but not many include Disney+ as part of a streaming package
  • VPN: Not required.
  • Essentials (basic): $24.99 / month
  • Essentials (basic): $199.99 / year
  • Premium: $39.99 / month
  • Premium: $379.99 / year
  • Add-on: n/a
  • Direct: Set up fuboTV and stream through SmartTV, streaming media player (such as Google Chromecast), game console, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets
  • Add on: n/a
  • VPN: Not required.
  • Sign up now for fuboTV
  • $24.99 a month
  • Discounted rate of $199.99 a year
  • Add-on: n/a
  • Direct: Set up DAZN and stream through SmartTV, streaming media player (such as Google Chromecast), game console, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets
  • Add on: n/a
  • VPN: Not required.
  • Access to DAZN

Music streaming services available in Canada

Music Streaming ServicesCost
  • Account (with ads): $0 / mth
  • Premium: $9.99 / mth
  • Student Premium: $4.99 / mth
  • Premium Duo: $12.99 / mth
  • Premium Family: $15.99 / mth
Amazon Prime Music
  • Single device: $4.99 / mth
  • Unlimited Individual plan: $9.99 / mth
  • Unlimited Individual plan: $89 / year
Apple Music
  • Apple Voice: $4.99 / mth
  • Apple Student: $5.99 / mth
  • Apple Individual: $10.99 / mth
  • Apple Family: $16.99 / mth
  • On the SXM app: $10.99 / mth
  • In the car + On the app: $17.99 / mth
YouTube Music

Streaming statistics: Demographics

Gender differences

Men and women love streaming almost equally, with men just a little more likely to subscribe to a video streaming service than women (53.1% vs 46.9%, respectively), according to Statista.

Income differences

Streaming may be the great democratizer. According to data from Statista, those with the lowest household income make up the biggest share of video streaming subscribers in Canada. When broken out by income, the percentage of video streaming subscribers is:

  • 36.7% for the lowest-income earners
  • 32.5% for middle-income earners
  • 30.8% for high-income earners

Age differences

Age remains the biggest determining factor in whether or not a person subscribes to a streaming service and how long they spend streaming on any device.

On average, Canadian adults spend 10 hours per week streaming content, and this includes any device. It's no surprise that Canada's youngest adults between the ages of 18 and 24, spend almost an hour—11 hours per week, on average, streaming on any device.

Young Canadians between the ages of 25 to 34 are the most likely subscribers to video streaming services, according to Statista, followed by those between the ages of 35 to 44. Surprisingly, the youngest Canadian adults, those between 18 to 24 are less likely to subscribe to a streaming video game service than their older counterparts.

Not surprisingly, only 14.3% of Canadians between the ages of 45 and 54, and 11.1% of Canadians between 55 and 64 subscribe to on-demand video services.

Comparison shopping for the best deal

Given that budgets are tight, Canadians need to consider how and when to add a streaming service as part of their entertainment budget. To help decide what works best follow these tips:

Use free trials

Take advantage of free trials to test out services. Taking the time to test out each service helps you decide what works for your household needs and cuts the creeping cost of online streaming services.

Find all-in-one streaming platforms

While niche streaming platforms are great for avid fans or enthusiasts, most Canadians will be happy with a service that offers a good variety. For instance, Netflix offers an expansive selection of movies, TV shows.

Shop around

Want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck? Check out our comprehensive online streaming service guide where we compare 40 products currently available in Canada.

Survey methodology — Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2

The results of the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2 were collected through an online Pollfish survey conducted between April 27 and April 29, 2023. In the survey, 1,011 Canadians from across the country were asked questions about their level of financial security and plans to adjust budgets and spending. The estimated margin of error for the survey is +/- 3%, 19 out of 20 times.

About Finder

Finder is a personal finance comparison site with a mission to help Canadians save, invest, spend wisely and grow their wealth. Each month Finder provides half a million Canadians—and more than 10 million globally—with independent and trustworthy financial information. Our goal is to help people make better financial decisions by providing objective, comparative insight on more than 2,000 products and services each month.

As a global fintech website and app, Finder provides consumers free access to smart money content. Whether it's expert insight, product or service comparisons or independent reviews, Finder helps consumers stay on top of their finances, while saving time and money.

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