Netflix Surges In Canada As Traditional TV Subscriptions Continue To Decline

Two independent reports released on Tuesday show that subscriptions to Netflix in Canada continue to soar as increasing numbers of people cancel traditional cable television services.

Toronto-based Solutions Research Group (SRG) and Victoria-based Convergence Research Group each estimate a growing Canadian user base for Netflix with more than six million households in the country streaming the Internet-based service in the past month.

“Post Christmas in early 2018, we’ve seen a record jump in Netflix use,” SRG stated in its research note on digital life based on a February online survey of 1,000 Canadians. More than half of Canadian households with an internet subscription – 57% or 6.7 million – said they streamed Netflix in the past month, up from 48% in October 2017.

SRG estimates Netflix’s total subscriber count at 6.1 million Canadian households. Convergence Research Group estimates an even higher number of Canadian Netflix subscribers at 6.7 million households, up from 6.4 million at the end of 2017.

The reports came a day after Netflix announced that it had 7.4 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2018 — 5.46 million of them based outside of the U.S. That’s a 50% increase from last year despite price increases that helped boost streaming revenue 43% to US$3.6 billion. Those results sent the company’s shares soaring more than 9% on Tuesday, closing at US$336.06 in New York trading.

The growth of Netflix comes as Canadians continue to ditch traditional cable television services. Television subscribers are steadily declining in Canada, according to research reports, financial statements and the federal broadcast regulator. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said 76.2% of Canadian households subscribed to TV packages as of August 31, 2016, down from 82.8% in 2012. The CRTC estimates that percentage dropped further to 71.9% at the end of 2017.