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What Cord Cutting Looks Like in 2018

You’ve heard that more and more Canadians are cutting the cord. How many? Well, we delved into the numbers for you. Here’s what cord cutting looks like right now.

How Many of Us Are Cutting the Cord?

4.18 million Canadian households, or 28.4% of us, don’t have traditional TV subscriptions with cable or satellite TV providers. Some of these households never had cable to begin with (the industry calls them “cord-nevers”), but most made the decision to cut the cord. 388,000 households made that choice last year. So if you’re thinking about cutting the cord, you’re not alone.

How Much Are We Spending on TV?

Canadian households who still buy cable packages spend an average of $65 a month. Of course, that’s an average—so for every household paying for a $25 skinny basic package, there’s another who might be approaching $100 a month in TV service alone.

How Many Different Streaming Services Can Canadians Use?

When people think of streaming, they usually think Netflix. Netflix certainly leads the pack in terms of users and time spent streaming, Amazon Prime Video actually has the most content.

Aside from those big two streaming services, Canadians have access to at least 14 other services, including CraveTV, Sportsnet Now, Club Illico, HBO Canada, iTunes Canada, Xbox Video, TVA, Fandor, Hollywood Suite, ABC Spark, Shudder, OutTV, Sundance Now, and MUBI.

Something else to bear in mind: Disney is slowly pulling content off of Netflix and they are planning on launching their own streaming service in the next year or so.

How Much Do Canadian Spend on Streaming?

Streaming is considerably cheaper than a traditional TV service. Netflix’s basic account costs $8.99 per month and Amazon Prime Video costs $79 per year. Most other services are comparable or free, with the exception of sports-centric services. Sportsnet costs $24.99 per month.

How Much Time Do Canadians Spend Watching Video Content?

Kids 2 – 11 spend nearly 17 hours a week watching TV. Traditional cable TV, streaming content like Netflix—everything video. Kids 11 – 18 watch slightly less at just over 14 hours. The 18 – 34 set watches 16 hours per week, while adults older than that tend to average an hour or two more. Seniors watch the most TV in Canada. The over 55 set averages nearly 40 hours of TV per week. They’re also the least likely to cut the cord, so maybe a good birthday present for the grandparents in your life could be a streaming device.  

How Much Time Do Canadians Spend With Media in General?

If you’re an average Canadian adult, you’re going to spend 581 minutes interacting with media today. 24 of those minutes will be spent on print media, 94 minutes will be spent listening to the radio, 202 minutes will be spent watching traditional TV, and the biggest chunk, weighing in at 261 minutes, will be spent consuming digital media.

Fun fact: 8% of Canadians watch TV exclusively online. This group is projected to grow.

And finally, a fact to help make you feel better about binging The Crown: 78% of young adults in Canada said they binge watched TV this past fall. At this point, binge watching is pretty normal.

How Much TV Should Kids Be Allowed to Watch?

Experts have started thinking in terms of “screen time” instead of TV time. To a young brain, a TV screen isn’t all that different than a tablet or smartphone. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society (pdf warning), kids under two shouldn’t have any screen time. Between two and five, they recommend less than an hour of screen time per day.