Next year, more Canadians will be streaming shows than watching on cable

An annual report on consumer habits is projecting that the number of Canadian households paying for at least one digital streaming service will surge past the number of households that subscribe to cable TV for the first time in 2020.

The Convergence Research Group says that the growing popularity of services like Netflix and Crave (which is owned by CJAD 800's parent company, Bell Media) is driving a gradual shift in how consumers choose to spend their money.

Many households continue to subscribe to both streaming services and cable, but the report estimates that just short of one-third of Canadians will live in a house without any traditional TV subscription by the end of next year.  That's an increase of 2% from the end of 2018.

CRG's chair Braham Eiley told the Canadian Press that Canadians have been slower to adopt streaming services than in the U.S. because they have fewer options available to them.  Americans have around twice the number of streaming services on offer compared to the Canadian market, with popular services like Hulu completely unavailable north of the border.

Cable, satellite and fibre-optic TV services have declined in subscribers by around 2% every year since 2015.  The report says that Canada's television providers collectively lost just over 200,000 subscribers in 2018, while a total of just over 250,000 are expected by the time 2019 is out.

With files from the Canadian Press.