Skip to main content

As consumption of streaming video has ballooned in Canada, Netflix Inc. has enjoyed an early bird advantage.

The subscription online video service, which launched in Canada in 2010, now counts 53 per cent of English-speaking households that pay for a subscription, according to the latest Media Technology Monitor survey, conducted by CBC/Radio-Canada Research and Analysis. That means Netflix accounts for a huge swath of "over-the-top" TV subscriptions in Canada; 57 per cent of the 2,160 people surveyed for the report said they pay for at least one streaming service.

According to another firm, Convergence Research Group, there are roughly 20 subscription streaming services in Canada, including sizable tech players such as Netflix and Amazon; Canadian services such as Bell Media's CraveTV, Rogers's Sportsnet Now and Quebecor's Club Illico; and a number of smaller services. The CBC survey asked about Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, CraveTV and Sportsnet Now. It found a sizable lead for Netflix subscriptions. A French-language survey also looked at other streaming services.

The report comes at a time when Canada is considering how it should regulate culture in an age of dominance by Internet media firms, the biggest of which are not based in Canada.

Recently, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly outlined her vision for the future of cultural policy in Canada, announcing a commitment by Netflix to open a production facility here and to spend $500-million over five years on Canadian-made content. Ms. Joly also asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to submit a report by next June outlining "future distribution models for Canadian programming, as well as its continued creation, production and distribution."