CRTC Says Netflix in 17% of Canadian Homes, Saw 70% Growth in 2012

The CRTC is set to release their annual report this week will reveal some stats on the growth and popularity of Netflix Canada.

According to their data, Netflix saw growth of 70% in 2012, roughly 2.5 million households; but considering the data is close to being one year old, the actual numbers are most likely higher, especially given the popularity of exclusive shows such as the Emmy-winning House of Cards.

This immense growth has caused concern for the CRTC, as incumbent television providers argue the online service isn’t fair because it does not contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system nor have to meet minimum requirements for Canadian programming. Incumbents want a level playing field and suggest online services such as Netflix fall under content regulations or quotes removed for the entire industry altogether.

CRTC vice-chairman Peter Menzies, speaking at the annual conference of the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance today said:

“We’re looking at a communications environment that is radically different from what it was only 10 years ago.”

“Since then, the structures, the business models, the products and the technology of the industry have been dramatically transformed – to say nothing of the needs, the tastes, the expectations and the behaviour of consumers,”

The CRTC is seeking input from Canadians on how the broadcast system should be changed to serve consumer needs with further consultations with industry officials on how content should be delivered to our nation.

Back in May, Rogers was rumoured to have a Netflix rival under development, while TELUS said could develop applications to compete with Netflix as well. Part of Bell and Astral’s merger arguments to the CRTC was based on the fact both companies had to address “challenges to our business” from services like Netflix and create their own streaming competitor.

Cable providers have started to offer free live streaming solutions to keep viewers tuned in while they are mobile, such as Shaw’s recent launch of its Global Go iOS app. Shaw Media president Paul Robertson said conventional television still remains the largest portion of viewing opportunities but noted “there is a fast growing on-demand opportunities across all sorts of different devices.”

Netflix continues to be seen as a bargain for entertainment, at only $7.99 per month, which Kaan Yigit, president of Solutions Research Group, agrees with. He describes a Netflix subscription as the “simplest value proposition anywhere,” adding “one price, no commitment, cancel any time and it works on practically any device.”

Are you currently a Netflix Canada user? How much value are you getting out of your subscription?

[via Globe and Mail]