CRTC Issues Annual Report on the State of the Canadian Communications Industry
Canada's telecoms regulator, the CRTC has issued its annual report into the industry, and says that in 2011, the average Canadian family spent more than $180 per month on communications services.
"This report is used to gauge whether the communications industry is meeting the needs of Canadians as consumers, citizens and creators," said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. "The information it contains will help them make more informed decisions in the marketplace and enhance their participation in our public proceedings."
Canadians are consuming more content
In 2011, 1,183 radio services and 702 television services were offered to Canadians. Despite the availability of content on digital platforms, Canadians spent more time watching television and listening to the radio. On a weekly basis, they watched an average of 28.5 hours of television, up from 28 hours in 2010, and listened to an average of 17.7 hours of radio, up from 17.6 hours the previous year.
Canadians also actively consumed digital media content. Typical users watched 2.8 hours of Internet television per week, an increase from 2.4 hours in 2010. Four per cent of Canadians report only watching television programming online, while 4% watched programming on a smartphone and 3% on a tablet. Additionally, 22% of anglophones and 17% of francophones streamed the signal of an AM or FM station over the Internet.
"Canadians are enthusiastic consumers of creative content, whether it is offered on television, radio or through digital platforms. The fact that they are spending more time watching or listening to programming is good news for Canadian creators," Mr. Blais added.
In 2011, the broadcasting industry contributed $3.1 billion to the creation and promotion of Canadian programming, an increase of $132 million from the previous year.
Canadians are more connected
Seventy-eight per cent of the 13.4 million households in Canada had an Internet subscription. Canadians continued to migrate to faster Internet services: the percentage of households with download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second rose from 51% in 2010 to 54% in 2011. The average monthly bill for broadband Internet services increased by $1.80, or from $36.99 in 2010 to $38.79 in 2011.
By the end of 2011, the number of Canadians subscribing to wireless services grew by 6% to 27.4 million. Newer competitors, who offered their services to more than half of the population, doubled their market share from 2% to 4% of subscribers. At the same time, the larger companies introduced faster wireless networks, also known as Long Term Evolution or LTE networks, to 45% of the population. In 2011, Canadians paid on average $57.98 per month for wireless services, which was roughly the same amount as the previous year's monthly total of $57.86.
The number of subscribers to home telephone services continued to decrease in 2011, falling by 2.7% to 12.2 million. The average monthly bill of a telephone line was slightly lower, from $31.35 in 2010 to $31.23 in 2011.
The number of Canadian households that subscribe to basic television service increased by 2.2% to 11.8 million, equivalent to 89.6% of all households. Cable companies served the majority, or 69.9% of subscribers, while satellite companies served 24.5% and companies that deliver television programming through telephone lines (known as an Internet Protocol Television service) served 5.6% of subscribers. The average television subscriber paid $61.86 per month, an increase from $59.73 in 2010.
Communications revenues continue to rise
The overall revenues for the communications industry climbed to $59.3 billion in 2011, a 3.3% increase from $57.4 billion in 2010. In 2011, these revenues accounted for 4.6% of Canada's gross domestic product. Revenues for broadcasting services grew by 5.5% to $16.6 billion, while those for telecommunications services increased by 2.5% to $42.7 billion.