Netflix and Other Streaming Services Will Overtake Cable TV in Canada

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A new report shows that streaming services will take over cable TV in Canada in the next two years. We already know that Netflix and other similar services are more popular, but will that mean the end of cable TV?

A Gloomy Forecast for Traditional TV Subscriptions

Convergence Research Group has made a forecast and they found that by 2020, 10.6 households in Canada will get a streaming service. This number is 4% higher than the ones that will have traditional cable TV (10.2 million households).

Brahm Eiley, Convergence president said that these two years are “the calm before the storm.” He said that Netflix has seen an increase in subscribers and there are other competitors, like Amazon Prime Video.

The report shows that in the past two years, Canadian television subscribers declined by 2% and by 2020, each year will see a 2.6% decline.

With the decline in cable TV, streaming services saw an increase of 24% in 2017 compared to 2016. Most of the subscriptions were for Netflix, then Amazon and CraveTV.

Industry expert Irene Berkowitz is not surprised by the constant decline of traditional TV cable and the huge demand for streaming service, which is cheaper:

“It’s a consumer-driven disruption. [Traditional Cable TV] is clunky, it’s infuriating and it feels like a horse and buggy or an electric typewriter.”

Netflix Raising the Bar

And Netflix keeps on adding shows to its Canadian library, adding and creating other new original series. In the last five years, the number of Netflix subscribers in Canada has tripled to 6.4 million.

“Netflix alone is, really, it’s a beast — I don’t know how else to describe it,” said Brahm Eiley.

And more streaming subscriptions will pile up with Amazon Prime Video. There is also Rogers’ Sportsnet NOW and DAZN, BritBox, All Access – a streaming app from CBS and soon Apple will also launch their streaming service in Canada.

Eiley thinks that “Canadians will consume [the content], especially if it’s priced correctly.”

Switching From Cable To Netflix or Keeping Them Both

Just to show you an example, Shelley MacMillan used TV cable and then switched to Netflix:

“I started to look at my bill and I thought, ‘You watch two channels that you like on cable: should you be paying $80 a month for that?’ I really started to question it.”

So, she signed up for Netflix for only $9.99 per month and said that “within two days, I was hooked. I just don’t see [cable] surviving.”

Another person, David Sheard said that he keeps both Netflix and cable. He wants access to news and live sports too, and cable offers them both. He said there are “certain things that you cannot get any other way.”

But traditional TV providers will not die off. They offer home internet, and streaming services need a fast (and expensive) internet connection.

Sheard’s internet bill just went up by $8 per month. But it’s something he expected, “because they know more people are streaming.”

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.