Half of Canadians Ready to Bail on Ad-Supported Streaming if Prices Continue to Climb

New Data Reveals Shift in Consumer Streaming Preferences

TORONTO, May 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cost-conscious consumers are threatening to cancel their streaming subscriptions if prices continue to tick up according to a recent study by Horizon Media, one of Canada's leading media companies.

Nearly half of Canadian viewers, spanning across all age demographics—Gen Z (42 per cent), Millennials (46 per cent), Gen X (51 per cent), and Boomers (49 per cent)—are poised to bid adieu to streaming platforms should ad-supported options surpass what they deem a fair price. Of those surveyed, 36 per cent were subscribed to an ad-supported platform, 39 per cent to an ad-free streaming service and 26 per cent were subscribed to both types.

Horizon’s ‘Finger on the Pulse’ survey was conducted to better understand Canadians’ views on ad-tiers and streaming platforms, on relevant topics such as value perception, user satisfaction, platform perception, and viewing preferences.

“Many Canadians facing financial pressures have switched over to ad-supported tiers to save money, but they’re ready to abandon streaming if prices continue to increase,” said Simon Ross, VP of Strategy & Insights at Horizon Media Canada. “And while some are seeking affordability, most still prefer ad-free options and are willing to pay extra for them. This highlights the need for streaming platforms to strike a balance between offering cost-saving options and catering to the demand for ad-free experiences.”

Relevance is Key in Advertising
Canadians are more receptive to ads targeted towards their interests across video streaming platforms. The study emphasizes the importance of relevance in advertising, with consumers expressing a preference for targeted ads over untargeted ones. Across all age groups viewers are annoyed by the lack of relevant ads they see—Gen Z (62 per cent), Millennials (71 per cent), Gen X (78 per cent), and Boomers (87 per cent). Ad-supported streaming services are missing the mark further with 84 per cent of respondents indicating they are either dissatisfied, or unsure, with the variety of ads they are seeing. Additionally, 78 per cent say they have never taken any action after seeing an ad while watching a streaming platform.

Netflix Remains Preferred Streaming Service
When Canadians tune into a streaming service, it’s usually Netflix unless you live in Atlantic Canada where Prime Video by Amazon leads. Of those surveyed, 73 per cent are subscribed to Netflix, 61 per cent to Prime, 35 per cent to Disney-plus, 22 per cent to Crave and 14 per cent to Apple.

“Canadians prioritize platforms with extensive content libraries, particularly those featuring Canadian content,” noted Ross. “This emphasis on content depth underscores the importance for brands to prioritize advertising on platforms that offer diverse and locally relevant programming.”

For more information on Horizon Media in Canada, please visit https://horizon-media.ca/

The study was created by Horizon Media Canada’s Tipping Point group, using its multi-modal research and analysis, and multiple sources, including Horizon Media Canada’s StatsCan provincial panel. More than 1,004 Canadians nationwide were surveyed from March 14-26, 2024. The survey employed Horizon Media Canada’s suite of social listening and cultural intelligence tools, and a blend of trusted secondary sources, observational techniques, and proprietary and curated supporting data. 

Horizon Media
Horizon Media, Inc, the largest independent media agency in North America, delivers data-driven business outcomes for some of the world’s most innovative and ambitious brands. Founded in 1989, headquartered in New York, and with offices in Los Angeles, Toronto, and Edmonton, the company employs 2,400 people and has media investments of more than $9.5 billion.  Horizon Media's fundamental belief is that business is personal, which drives its approach to connecting brands with their customers and engaging with its own employees resulting in industry-leading workplace satisfaction levels (Glassdoor).  The company is consistently recognized by independent media outlets for its client excellence and has earned several "Best Workplaces" awards reflecting its commitment to DEI and the life and well-being of everyone at Horizon Media.

Andrew Findlater
SELECT Public Relations
(647) 444-1197

Michael Mills
Horizon Media Canada
(647) 749-0592