Streaming Services Like Netflix to Surpass Cable TV in Canada by 2020: Study

A new study conducted by the Convergence Research Group predicts streaming services like Netflix will overtake traditional cable TV in Canada, as soon as 2020.

Convergence president Brahm Eiley told CBC News, “The numbers are so big now that it really is happening,” adding “The writing’s on the wall.”

The study says there has been a two per cent fall in Canadian TV subscribers in 2016 and 2017, with subsequent average declines of 2.6 per cent through 2020 is being forecasted.

As for streaming services such as Netflix in Canada? The report says in 2017, there was a 24% increase in sign ups for these services compared to the year before.

While Netflix has the lead in streaming service sign ups in Canada, it’s followed by Amazon and their Prime Video and CraveTV, offered by Bell Media.

Eiley predicts by 2024, more Canadians will have Netflix subscriptions than traditional TV packages. In the past five years, Netflix subscribers in Canada have tripled to 6.4 million.

There are numerous streaming services set to put a dent in traditional cable TV subscriptions, such as Amazon’s Prime Video, DAZN, BritBox, CBS All-Access, Sportsnet NOW and also Apple’s rumoured service, which has continued to add more shows.

CBC News interviewed one recent cord cutter named Shelly MacMillan, who ditched TV last December only when her cable box broke down.

She told the news publication “I started to look at my bill and I thought, ‘You watch two channels that you like on cable: should you be paying $80 a month for that?’ I really started to question it.”

MacMillan eventually signed up for Netflix as an experiment, and subsequently canceled her cable TV subscription days later, adding “I just don’t see [cable] surviving.”

The only reason people still want traditional cable TV is for live news and sports, but there are ways to access these channels for free, especially if you have an antenna to capture free TV signals over the air. We’ll have a short tutorial soon on how to set this up.

Last fall, Netflix and the Federal government signed a $500 million deal for Canadian productions, with investment to be spent in Canada.

Recently, the broadcast industry shared their thoughts with the CRTC on what should be done to support Canadian content production, with opinions being mixed among cable TV companies.

Are you still subscribed to cable TV? If so, what are you mostly watching?