Streaming video in Canada has emerged rapidly as an alternative to linear TV for consumers. The medium is now a fixed part of the entertainment menu, judging by data quantifying consumer time spent with video and growing over-the-top (OTT) service revenues. To gain a share of that growing market, domestic players are introducing new OTT services to compete with international players like Netflix and Amazon.
- Streaming video is also described in the media as OTT and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD). We forecast the number of subscription OTT video viewers in Canada will reach 17.4 million this year—more than 13 million of who will be Netflix viewers. The service is the most notable brand associated with SVOD, an industry that presents new challenges to the broadcast and cable oligopoly in Canada, which has historically operated with little competition from abroad.
- The government of Canada announced a review of broadcast and telecommunications legislation in 2018, partly aimed at regulating OTT services to generate funding for Canadian productions. Response from local industry has been supportive, but proponents of internet-based video distribution suggests it’s the wrong approach.
- Some say this expanded regulation is overdue, pointing to rapid adoption of OTT services and cord-cutting, which makes the future performance of media companies in Canada less clear.
- To compete with Netflix and other international services, the domestic industry is reshaping how it packages content for fragmented viewing across live and linear TV, DVR and set-top box solutions for on-demand viewing.