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TV reaches the largest audiences

Jordan Rothel Mar 21, 2022 9:33:35 AM
TV reaches largest audiences

Despite the growth in streaming, TV continues to draw in the largest audience. Based on our access to the latest data, along with evidence from other industry experts, TV is still strong today and the best place for marketers to invest their advertising dollars.


SVODs supplement regular TV consumption

Canadian audiences (2+) are watching less cable (linear) TV but that’s not the whole picture.  According to Numeris’ Fall 2021 data, Canadians watch an average of almost 21 hours a week of TV, down only 2 hours a week over the last 4 years.  Over the same time, subscriptions to video on demand services including Crave and CBC Gem have gone up 25%, according to MTM’s Fall 2021 survey.  What this suggests is that audiences are not necessarily leaving linear TV for streaming, but are adding more TV through various platforms.

Total video viewing for adults 18+ breaks down as follows:


Linear remains a large piece of the video landscape especially when we consider their digital properties in the market, providing more video options for their viewers.  And, not all digital services are ad-based, meaning, as a marketer, linear TV remains a great option and source for ad inventory.


Who's keeping linear TV strong?

Heavy TV viewers, who represent about a 1/3 of all viewers, are consuming over 40 hours of content per week. These heavy viewers are not just the boomers either. While they make up a good portion of the viewing, they also represent a good portion of our population.  The younger age ranges are represented in the heavy viewers too, contributing to the strength of TV.

We would argue it’s the medium and light viewers driving the SVOD adoption, looking for more control over how, what, and when they consume their video content.  They are more selective and are adopting services that can cater to this area.  Still their proportion of the Linear TV audience has remained fairly consistent. 


TV advertising continues to get the most attention

In February of 2020, we ran a survey with over 1,000 Canadians 18+ to find out which media format captured their attention best. The results showed that 51% said TV was the best medium to capture their attention, with 24% saying online video and 20% saying social media. Once again, it’s important to point out that linear TV and their streaming channels are the only formats that offer advertising.

Perhaps this is why SVOD services such as Amazon Prime and Disney+ have increased their advertising investment on linear TV as well.



So if you’re questioning whether TV is the right place for your advertising dollars, remember these three points:

  • Canadians are not watching less TV; they are just using different devices to access the content
  • It’s not just the boomers still watching TV. All generations are tuning in.
  • TV captures audiences’ attention like no other medium.
If you’re looking to build a case for investing in TV or looking to uncover new insights about your campaign, we can help. Check out some of our custom reporting services here or contact us to see what else we can do to help.