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Survey: 10% of Canadians Use Netflix

21 Mar, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

An estimated 10% of Canadians have embraced subscription video-on-demand movies and TV shows on Netflix while continuing to pay for bundled access to multichannel video program distribution, according to a CBS News report.

In a telephone survey of 8,000 French and English speaking Canadians last fall — a year after Netflix launched its first international service in the country — CBC/Radio Canada found that the average Netflix subscriber streamed 5.6 hours of content per week while watching 13 hours per week of television. The average non-Netflix sub in Canada watches 15.8 hours of TV per week, according to the survey disclosed on HackingNetflix.com.

The majority of respondents stream Netflix on the TV (74%), while 18% watch on a computer, 3% on tablets and 2% on a mobile phone.

Netflix charges $7.99 (Canadian) monthly for unlimited streaming. It does not rent discs in Canada. Netflix had 1.9 million international subscribers — which included about 500,000 subs in upstart Latin America regions — at the end of the fourth quarter in 2011, according to the most recent fiscal report. Netflix had not yet launched service in the United Kingdom or Ireland. It had 23.4 million subs overall.

When Netflix launched service in Canada, there was outcry from regional and national cable and satellite TV operators that the service would negatively impact traditional pay-TV channel subscriptions. Indeed, 83% of Netflix subs continue to purchase bundled pay-TV access, compared with 88% among non-Netflix subs.

Meanwhile, some Canadian cable operators began imposing data limits on subscribers in addition to launching proprietary SVOD platforms in an effort to thwart the perceived “red” menace from America. A subsequent government report found no such threat existed, other than increased competition, which it determined was positive for the consumer.

“Netflix viewers watch 28% more TV than the average Canadian when including their Netflix viewing,” said Mark Allen, director of research and strategic analysis at CBC/Radio-Canada, the nation’s public broadcaster.

Separately, Erik Barmack, director of content with Netflix, blogged that in the coming weeks, box office hits X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Thor, Captain America, Kung Fu Panda 2, Charlie's Angels and A Knight's Tale would make their streaming debut in Canada.

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