Communications Monitoring Report 2015: Executive Summary
The Commission wishes to thank all the entities that completed the CRTC Data Collection forms, without which this report would not have been possible. The Commission would also like to acknowledge the assistance provided by Industry Canada in the analysis of broadband deployment as it related to the rural communities in Canada; Statistics Canada for the various supplementary data used in this report; Numeris (formerly BBM Canada) for audience measures; NLogic (formerly BBM Analytics) for the Media Technology Monitor (MTM); and Mediastats.
Interested parties are welcome to provide comments for improvements or additions to future editions of the report. You can send your comments to the attention of the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, K1A 0N2.
I am pleased to present the 2015 Communications Monitoring Report. This report provides a comprehensive view of the Canadian communication services sector, including the technologies they depend on to participate in the digital economy.
This year’s edition reveals important trends in how Canadians use their communication services. A picture of the broadband home of the future is beginning to emerge as the majority of households now subscribe to Internet packages with speeds at or above 10 megabits per second, while packages with slower speeds have been declining in popularity. Although Canadians are using a variety of ways to communicate, they are increasingly choosing wireless services over traditional telephone services.
The report also contains new data, including additional information on ethnic radio stations and average monthly mobile data usage.
We have undertaken additional efforts to provide high-level information that is clear and easy to understand in the section titled “Canada’s Communication System: An Overview for Citizens, Consumers and Creators.” While communication services account for a significant portion of most families’ monthly budget, Canadians have a number of options in today’s competitive marketplace. We invite them to use the information in the following pages to help them make informed decisions about their services.
The CRTC aims to ensure Canadians are at the centre of their communication system. To do so, it is important that they participate in our public consultations and at our public hearings. The data in this report can inform their comments and ideas and provide evidence to support their views.
We look forward to hearing from all participants in the Canadian communication sector as we work to ensure that Canadians have access to a world-class system.
Chairman and CEO
The Communications Monitoring Report (CMR) provides a comprehensive overview of the communications markets in Canada. Specifically, it provide the industry, stakeholders and the Canadian public with a meaningful tool to help them better understand the communications industry and participate in the CRTC’s proceedings.
Key communications market trends for 2014
- Overall communications industry revenues reached $63.2 billion in 2014, up from $61.9 billion in 2013. Despite the increase in revenues, the 2.1% growth rate for 2014 is slightly below the five-year average of 2.4%. Revenue increases for mobile, Internet, broadcasting distribution and discretionary television services were offset by decreases in revenue for conventional television, radio and home telephone services.
- Telecommunications revenues took the lion’s share of overall communications revenues. In 2014, total telecommunications revenues reached $45.9 billion and grew by 2.5%, while broadcasting revenues reached $17.3 billion and grew by 1.4% since last year. These proportions are consistent with previous years.
- The five largest companies accounted for 84% of communications revenues in 2014. This figure is up 1% from 2013.
- Average monthly household spending on communications services increased from $191 in 2013 to $203 in 2014. The largest spending increase was on mobile services which rose from $69 to $79. Most of Canadians’ spending on communications services went to mobile wireless services (39%), followed by home television (27%), Internet (19%), and home telephone services (15%).
- The price of communications services outpaced overall consumer prices. Between 2013 to 2014, overall consumer prices increased by 2.0% while prices for some communications services increased as follows: 3.4% for home telephone, 2.3% for cable, direct-to-home satellite and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and 8.0% for Internet.
New technologies are shaping how Canadians are communicating
- For the first time, more Canadians households subscribed exclusively to mobile wireless services (20.4%) than to wireline (i.e., landline) telephone services (14.4%). More Canadian households also reported subscribing to mobile phones (84.9%) than landline telephones (78.9%).
- Canadians continue to move toward broadband mobile services. Mobile broadband subscribers continued to post strong gains, with over 19 million Canadians subscribing to mobile broadband in 2014, compared to 17.6 million in 2013 and 13.2 million in 2011.
- The number of wireless subscribers increased in 2014, but at a slower rate than in recent years. Growth was at 1.5% in 2014, compared to 2.3% in 2013 and 7.9% in 2010.
- Fewer wireless users subscribed to plans which exceeded 2 years. In 2014, contracts which exceeded 2 years accounted for 33% of all contract lengths, compared to 56% in 2013.
- Two-thirds of Canadians own a smartphone. In 2014, 66% of Canadians 18 years of age and older owned a smartphone compared to 62% in 2013 and 24% in 2010.
- LTE coverage now reaches over 90% of the population. LTE availability reached 93% of the population, while HSPA+ is available to 99% of the population.
- Tablet ownership has continued to increase rapidly over the last year as nearly half of Canadians own a tablet. In 2014, 49% of Canadian 18 years of age and older reported owning a tablet, compared to 39% in 2013 and 3% in 2010.
- Ninety-six percent of Canadian households can subscribe to download speeds of 5 Mbps. This is virtually unchanged from 2013, but significantly higher than 87% in 2011. In comparison, 77% of Canadian households actually subscribe to Internet services at this target download speed.
- In 2014, 87% of high-speed Internet subscribers had access to download capacities of 40 gigabytes. This represents significant increases from 76% in 2013 and 72% in 2011.
The way Canadians are consuming content is changing
- Internet TV viewing continued to increase. In the spring of 2015, Canadians 18 years of age and older watched 7 hours of Internet TV on a weekly basis, compared to 5.1 hours in 2013 and 1.5 hours in 2008.
- Traditional TV viewing is continuing to drop. Canadians (2 +) watched 27.4 hours of traditional television per week during the 2013-2014 broadcast year, compared to 27.9 hours in 2012-2013 and 28.5 hours in 2010-2011.
- Younger Canadians are watching significantly less traditional television than older Canadians. On average, Canadians 18 to 34 years of age watched less than half the number of hours of traditional television (20.6) as did Canadians 65 year of age and older (41.8).
- For the first time since its introduction into the Canadian marketplace, IPTV posted revenues beyond the billion-dollar mark. In 2014, IPTV garnered nearly $1.3 billion in revenues, up from $925 million in 2013.
Alternative audio activity on the rise
- Canadians’ use of streaming services is growing. In 2014, 52% of Canadians streamed music videos on YouTube, 22% streamed AM/FM radio online, 18% streamed personalized online music, and 21% listened to podcasts.
- Nineteen percent of Canadians 18 years of age and older subscribed to satellite radio services. This represents a 2% increase over 2013 and an 8% increase over 2009.
- Meanwhile, both revenues and profitability of private commercial radio stations dropped in 2014. Commercial radio stations reported a slight decrease in revenues, from $1.62 billion in 2013 to $1.61billion in 2014. Both AM and FM radio stations reported weaker profitability margins in 2014.
Revisions to the Communications Monitoring Report – November 2015
- Section 4.1 (Introduction)
Clarification: Online music streaming usage is revised to indicate that the figure is for AM/FM only.
- Table 4.1.3
Added a note that there were no ethnic commercial stations to report for in the Atlantic Provinces.
- Table 4.2.14 (French version)
Table 4.2.14 has been modified to address alignment issues and certain discrepancies between the English-language and French-language versions of the Report.
- Tables 5.5.13 and 5.5.14 and Figure 5.5.23
2014 average wireless service revenues per subscriber are revised from $81.30 to $75.01 for Alberta, from $49.35 to $53.58 for Quebec, from $56.26 to $56.98 for Nova Scotia and from $56.38 to $51.62 for Prince Edward Island.
- Figures 5.5.13 and 5.5.14
Figures have been revised since the publication of the Report.
- Figure 5.5.26
Added a note that the data for the Atlantic Provinces is not reported due to confidentiality of the data.
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