More Canadians on the Internet than watch TV each week, says Ipsos-Reid poll

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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The Ipsos Reid polling company says that for the first time ever, Canadians are spending more time each week online than watching television.
Monday's finding comes from the Inter(at)ctive Reid Report, an Ipsos Reid study that tracks online Canadians usage of the Internet.
The report finds that overall, Canadians are now spending more than 18 hours a week online, compared with 16.9 hours watching television.
Internet usage is up from 14.9 hours last year. The number of hours watching television also rose in the last year, from 15.8 hours in 2009. Usage of newspapers, radio and magazines have all remained relatively stable in the last year.
The study did not say why the changes are occurring, but noted that younger Canadians generally spend more time online than those over 55.
Some industry watchers have noted that the cost of watching TV is rising as cable TV companies and satellite operators raise the monthly cost of service. As that happens more people are watching TV online for free.
Later Monday, the CRTC is expected to rule on a so-called TV tax or fee for carriage, a cost cable companies have said could add another $10 a month to consumers' bills if the regulator rules they have to pay broadcasters for their local signals.
In breaking down its survey, Ipsos-Reid noted that males are spending significantly more time online than females - 20 hours compared with 16. In addition, 18-34 year olds are spending 20 hours a week online on average, compared with 18 hours for those over 35.
'In previous years we've seen significant differences between the generations and the amount of time they spend online," said study author Mark Laver.
'The data indicates that not only are people of all ages spending more and more time online, but it also points to a shift in how online Canadians are consuming media and where they are spending their free time.
'Today, online Canadians are finding a myriad of entertainment options available to them within the walls of their homes. While some entertainment content has simply shifted from television to online, the Internet is also providing new content to Canadians."
In a related development Monday, a report in AdAge.com said U.S. TV giant CBS has sold out its online advertising inventory for March Madness on Demand, the broadcaster's online coverage of the U.S. collegiate basketball tournament.
The website says CBS brought in about $37 million in online ad sales, up 20 per cent from the year before.
This year, Capital One, a major U.S. credit card company, joined phone operator AT&T and soft drink giant Coca-Cola as online advertisers and sponsors, the website said.
Last year, 7.5 million people watched the NCAA tournament online, compared with 130 million on TV. However, digital revenues are steadily growing.
AdAge.com said that at an investor conference last week, CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves called the online broadcast of the NCAA games "a great new source of revenue" for the broadcaster.
As for the Canadian TV and internet use survey, the Ipsos Reid poll was done in the 2009 fourth quarter and questioned 839 Canadian adults. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.38 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Ipsos Reid has operations in eight cities and employs more than 600 researchers and support staff in Canada.

Organizations: Ipsos Reid, CBS, CRTC NCAA Capital One AT&T Coca-Cola

Geographic location: U.S., Canada

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