With Rogers Communications reportedly developing its own streaming video service, research from Toronto’s Solutions Research Group (SRG’s) suggests it will be extremely difficult for a new entrant to usurp incumbents like Netflix.
With a presence in an estimated three million Canadian households – a number that includes paid, free trial and a small number of Canadians who subscribe to the U.S. service – Netflix has become a leading source for long-form online video consumption, according to SRG’s ongoing “Digital Life Canada” report.
More than half (52%) of those subscribers are using Netflix on any given day, with the average session lasting about 1.5 hours (4% of users spend three hours or more with the service in a typical session). The number of people using tablets, smartphones and smart TVs to access Netflix has also increased in the past two years, reflecting the increased prevalence of those devices.
Netflix was singled out as one of the brands that is “on fire” in Ipsos Reid’s third annual “Most Influential Brands” study earlier this week, and the SRG study affirms consumers’ love of the service. Nearly 90% of subscribers (89%) say that Netflix offers either “excellent” or “good” value for the money, despite the library limitations in the Canadian market.
“This sets a very high bar for any potential entrants and is as high a number as we’ve seen in some time, in any industry,” said SRG president Kaan Yigit. “It’s not just about the content as much as it is about the seamlessness of the service across devices, as well as the predictive algorithm and the recommendation engine.”
Canadians’ love of online video isn’t restricted to Netflix, however. The number of Canadians viewing long-form online video on any site – including YouTube, Yahoo! or sites owned by traditional broadcast outlets like CTV and Global Television – in the past month has shot up from 19% in late 2006 to 56% in Q3 2013. The number of Canadians viewing short-form video has skyrocketed from 39% to 81% in the same time period.