Vancouver, B.C. – As alternatives to traditional TV increase in popularity
– such as free streaming TV and full length episodes of shows available for direct download –
some Canadian consumers are wondering if they can do without their cable TV subscription,
opt for Internet access only, and "cut the cable". However, research shows that – at least in the
short term – this threat to cable TV companies may be exaggerated, as most Canadians are
not willing to make the switch.
According to the latest issue of the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, fewer than
half (43%) of online Canadians agreed they would cancel their cable TV subscription before
they cancelled their Internet service (only 24% strongly agree with this statement). At the same
time, a traditional television screen is the most popular device used to watch shows and
movies, with 88% doing so on a weekly basis. Only half (56%) watch video content on a laptop
or desktop in the same time period.
"Canadians don't have access to as much quality, free content as Americans, which may
be holding Canadians to more traditional forms of media," says Catherine Dawson, Senior
Vice President with Ipsos Reid in Vancouver. "Until a similar variety and selection is available,
walking away from cable isn't a realistic decision for most Canadians."
Some websites that offer high quality, free TV shows, movies, and video clips – such as
hulu.com – are not accessible north of the border, limiting the ability of Canadians to stream
content online. In addition, the introduction of Netflix to Canada in 2010 has not captivated a
large portion of the population (only one quarter (24%) use a streaming platform on a weekly
basis), likely due to the limitations on movies and TV shows offered in Canada.
When looking at specific age groups, younger Canadians are much more willing to cut
their cable subscription in favour of Internet access than older Canadians. Among those aged
16 to 34, six in ten (64%) would keep their internet over cable, compared to those aged 35 to
54 (41%) and those aged 55+ (28%). A far more tech savvy generation, younger Canadians
have the knowledge and ability to access free content online more easily than older
"It is not surprising that younger Canadians are more inclined to give up cable TV for
Internet access," adds Dawson. "It's clear that loyalty and preference to access video content
online is partly affected by age, indicating that the future trend in this industry is to move further
away from cable subscriptions."
This release is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid syndicated study, The Ipsos
Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, fielded March 16th to 21st, 2012 and released in 2012-
Issue 1. This online survey of 886 Canadian adults was conducted via the Ipsos Online Panel.
The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to
balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual
Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos
online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An
unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an
estimated margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
For more information on the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, please visit www.ipsos.ca/reid/interactive
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Senior Vice President
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public
opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With
operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and
support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the
country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's
marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in
Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with
seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid
offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian
economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and
technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-
based market research group.
To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.
Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research
professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group
with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of
Synovate. The combination forms the world's third largest market research company.
With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research
specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and
build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test
advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion
around the globe.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global
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