Canadians want a Netflix-like alternative to broadcaster video players: study

Viewer engagement with major broadcasters' VOD services is low, and consumers have gripes with advertising and registration requirements, according to research from Delvinia's AskingCanadians for Media in Canada.
March 26, 2014

Over two-thirds (84%) of the 1,095 Canadians polled by a Toronto-based research firm this month said they do not use online video players from broadcasters like CTV GO, Global GO or Rogers on Demand.

The data was compiled by Delvinia’s AskingCanadians online research community, a study done on behalf of Stream‘s sister publication Media in Canada.

Of the Canadians (16%) that do use the players the majority of them do view content several times per week (28%), with the next popular response being a tie between using the players once a week and once or twice a month (both 23%). Daily use was reported by 12% of Canadians who responded and 14% reported using the players less than once per month. The survey is nationally representative and includes both English and French Canadians.

The majority of people who use the video players (78%) say they would like to be able to access content in one place, through a service like a Canadian Netflix alternative.

Overall, the biggest issue that VOD users have with the service is there being too much advertising on the players (64%), with viewer authentication (a.k.a. the need to have a paid subscription to a cable service) as the second most common complaint at 52%. Third was the slow download speeds for player-based content (35%).

Open-ended complaints about video players in the survey included the amount of data used by the players, not all shows being available and the same ads repeating during each break.

This data comes on the heels of new research from MTM that says tablet penetration is up to 42% amongst Anglophone Canadians, with 48% of respondents saying they use the devices to watch videos.

Canada’s three biggest broadcasters — all owned by parent cos with stakes in the cable business — have instituted viewer authentication gates for live and windowed content on their branded GO apps, restricting access to customers with cable packages from select companies.

What do you think could be done to improve the state of broadcast video players in Canada? Leave a comment below or email Vmaloney@mediaincanada.com.

File image courtesy Benis Cehic

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