Communications Monitoring Report 2017: Executive Summary
Download this report in PDF
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 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada in the analysis of broadband deployment as well as for their coordination of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and the Spam Reporting Centre (SRC); Statistics Canada for the various supplementary data used in this report; Numeris for audience measures; NLogic for the Media Technology Monitor (MTM); OVUM; and Mediastats.
The Commission would also like to acknowledge the individuals who took the time to submit a commercial electronic message that they believed to be in violation of CASL to the Spam Reporting Centre (SRC) as well as those who reported unsolicited telecommunications to the CRTC.
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.
The Communications Monitoring Report (CMR) offers a comprehensive view of the communications services sector in Canada. Specifically, it provides Canadians, industry and stakeholders with meaningful information to help them better understand the communications industry and participate in the CRTC’s proceedings.
i) Key trends in the communications industry
- Overall, communications industry revenues reached $66.6 billion in 2016, up from $65.8 billion in 2015. The revenue growth rate of 1.3% between 2015 and 2016 is slightly below the five-year average growth rate of 1.9%. From 2015 to 2016, telecommunications service revenues grew 2.0%, while broadcasting service revenues decreased by 0.5%.
- In 2016, telecommunications service revenues represented 73% of overall communications service revenues. Total telecommunications service revenues reached $48.7 billion, while broadcasting service revenues decreased to $17.9 billion.
- The retail Internet service market sector grew by 10.1% from 2015 to 2016, and now represents 23% of all retail telecommunications service revenues. Like last year, it is the fastest growing sector of the retail telecommunications service market.
- The wireless service market sector is the largest sector of the retail telecommunications service market, accounting more than half (52%) of all retail telecommunications service revenues.
- Specialty services reported Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) totaling $1.6 billion in 2016, up by $100 million (6.6%) from 2015. Specialty services’ programming expenditures included $255.8 million in programs of national interest (PNI), a $1.8 million increase from 2015.
- Revenues of Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service providers continued on their upward trend and totaled $1.8 billion in 2016. This represented an increase of $232 million (14.8%) from 2015 and of $1.2 billion (205%) since 2012. By contrast, the revenues of cable and satellite service providers have been on a downward trend since 2012, recording the largest losses over the past two years. Cable service providers generated revenues of $4.8 billion in 2016, down 5.5% from 2015, while satellite service providers generated revenues of $2.15 billion, down 6.1% during the same period.
- The five largest companies reported 83% of overall communications revenues in 2016, a slight increase from 82% in 2015.
- Average monthly household spending on communications services increased from $215 in 2014 to $218 in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Monthly spending on mobile services and Internet services grew to an average of $87 and $47, respectively. From 2014 to 2015, average monthly spending on Internet services grew by 9.6% while spending on mobile services grew 5.5%.
- In 2015, wireless services represented the largest communication expense for Canadian households, representing 40% of their average monthly expenditures on communications services, followed by home television services (25%), Internet services (21%), and home telephone services (14%).
- From 2015 to 2016, Canadians data consumption continued to grow and reached an average of 128.3 gigabytes (GB) transferred per month on their home Internet connection and 1,225 megabytes (MB) per month on their mobile phones, representing increases of 23.4% and 24.9%, respectively.
ii) Canadians appetite for data and high speed connections continues to grow
- Canadian wireless service subscribers now use, on average, 1,225 MB of wireless data per month, a 25% increase from the 2015 average of 981 MB per month. 48% of Canadian subscribers now have a plan that includes at least 1GB of data, a 2 percentage point increase from the 2015 level of 46%.
- Helping Canadians access their favorite content on the go, the latest wireless service technologies are now available to the vast majority of Canadians, with long term evolution advanced (LTE-A) technology available to 83% of Canadians and long term evolution (LTE) available to 98.5% of Canadians.Footnote 1
- More Canadians are subscribing to mobile broadband services. Mobile broadband service subscribers continued to post strong gains, with over 25 million subscriptions to mobile broadband services in 2016, compared to 22.0 million in 2015, and 14.3 million in 2012.
- The total number of wireless service subscribers increased to nearly 31 million in 2016, a 3.3% increase over 2015.
- At home, monthly data transfer over fixed Internet reached 128.3GB in 2016, a 23.4% increase from 2015 to 2016. Over the last five years, Canadians’ monthly data consumption grew, on average, by approximately 40% per year.
- In 2016, over 51% of Internet service subscribers had plans that included 160GB or more of data per month. The average amount of data included with plans reached 177GB in 2016 due to the significant number of plans with very high data limits.
- At the same time as Canadians are increasing the amount of data they use, they are increasing the speed of their Internet connection. In 2016, approximately 26% of subscribers had an Internet connection with a download speed of 50Mbps or more, while in 2015, approximately 19% of subscribers had such a connection.
- As of December 2016, 84% of Canadians households had access to an Internet service meeting the new CRTC universal service objective of a download speed of at least 50 Mbps, an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps, and unlimited data transfer option. Overall, 11% of households subscribed to such a service in 2016.
iii) Canadians continue to watch TV
- Traditional TV viewing time remained relatively stable, decreasing by 0.6 hours from 2015 to 2016. Canadians (aged 2 and over) watched, on average, 26.6 hours of traditional television per week during the 2015-2016 broadcast year, compared to 27.2 hours in 2014-2015, and 28.2 hours in 2011-2012.
- Internet TV viewing continued to increase in 2016. Weekly users 18 years of age and older watched 6.4 hours of Internet TV on a weekly basis, compared to 1.5 hours in 2008.
- IPTV service revenues continued their rapid growth. IPTV service providers reported revenues of approximately $1.8 billion in 2016, up $232 million or 15% from 2015.
iv) Canadians supplement their content consumption online
- Canadians continue to use streaming music services to supplement their regular radio listening. In 2016, according to the Media Technology Monitor (MTM), 89% of Canadians 18 years of age or older listened to the radio, while 55% streamed music videos on YouTube and 22% streamed AM/FM radio online.
- In 2016, 27% of Canadians 18 years of age and older streamed personalized music, while 20% did so in 2015, according to data from MTM.
- Again, according to MTM, in 2016, 16% of Canadians 18 years of age and older subscribed to satellite radio services. This figure is unchanged from 2015 and 2014.
- While 95% of Canadians 18 years of age or older still watched traditional TV in 2016, Internet television’s popularity continues to grow, with 58% of reporting streaming Internet TV content compared to 55% in 2015, according to MTM.
Revisions to the Communications Monitoring Report
- Section 4.2 (Programming expenditures)
Second paragraph in subsection vi, Programming expenditures, has been modified to address the programs of national interest (PNI) expenditures discrepancy between the paragraph and the section 4.2 summary.
- Tables 4.2.21 and 4.2.22
Tables 4.2.21 and 4.2.22 have been revised since the publication of the Report.
- Figure 5.3.17
A link to additional information on the availability of 25Mps broadband by province and territory on Open Government has been added below the figure.
- Tables 4.2.9 and 4.2.10
Tables 4.2.9 and 4.2.10 have been revised since the publication of the Report.
Download this report in PDF
- Date modified: