1 in 3 Canadians Cancelled Their Streaming Service in the Past 6 Months: Survey

1 in 3 Canadians Cancelled Their Streaming Service in the Past 6 Months: Survey
The Netflix menu is shown on a screen on Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
David Wagner
More Canadians are cancelling their streaming subscriptions in an effort to offset the rising cost of living, according to an Angus Reid survey.

The poll found that around a third of Canadians cancelled one of their streaming services within the last six months, with at least half of those surveyed citing the rising cost of living crisis as a reason for cancellation.

Eighty-five percent of Canadians have at least one streaming service subscription, up from approximately half in 2016, according to the survey. Around half of Canadians aged 35 to 54 have three or more streaming subscriptions, and around 45 percent of those aged 65 or older have at least two, the study said.

Among other reasons Canadians cited for cancelling their subscriptions were they not using certain services as much (39 percent), selection wasn’t up to par (24 percent), dissatisfaction with a particular show being cancelled (15 percent), and not much difference between streaming platforms (8 percent).

In 2012, about 90 percent of Canadian households surveyed used a cable or satellite service, according to the study. With a steady decline since then, around 60 percent of households still use them, primarily among those aged 45 and older.

Almost half of the respondents who recently cancelled their cable services said they did not feel they were getting good value for their money, and 35 percent said they were already getting most of their movies and shows from streaming services.

Around 20 percent said they cancelled because they could not afford it.

Shifting Viewing Habits

Netflix was the first streaming video service available in Canada in 2010—which was also the year cable subscriptions started to decline, according to the study.

Canadians now have many options to choose from, and the field of streaming services is more competitive. In 2018, 56 percent of streaming subscribers were using Netflix. Now, that number has dropped to 25 percent.

Starting Nov. 3, Netflix is offering a subscription option for $6.99 per month which is cheaper than services already offered but includes advertisements. This option will include 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour, with each ad being about 15 to 30 seconds long.

Subscribers already paying higher prices will continue to have access to services without ads, or they can switch to the $6.99 option.

Netflix lost almost 1 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2022, according to the company. April was the first month in more than 10 years that Netflix saw a decline in subscriptions.

Several ad-supported streaming services will launch in Canada within the coming weeks, according to The Canadian Press. Disney Plus will also be rolling out an ad-supported option later this year.

Peacock, Paramount Plus and HBO Max already offer reduced service options that include ads.

The Canadian Press and Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.