Roku: More Than Half of Canadian TV Streamers Opt for Ad-Supported Video Access

Roku Jan. 19 reported that 76% of Canadians stream television content, with 52% of them opting for ad-supported VOD and/or free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) access. Roku disclosed the results in its third annual Video-on-Demand (VOD) Evolution study, examining Canadian TV streaming behaviors and trends.

Citing a commissioned survey, Roku said that 18% of Canadian households plan to cancel or downgrade their pay-TV service in the next 12 months, and 47% are looking to make changes to their TV streaming services. Notably, 29% of TV streamers have never subscribed to pay-TV.

In addition to manufacturing consumer electronics connecting household televisions to the internet, Roku has operated ad-supported The Roku Channel since 2017 offering original and licensed content.

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Christina Summers, head of advertising at Roku Canada, said the growth in TV streaming gives an advantage to both marketers and publishers. Marketers can extend their reach beyond traditional TV broadcasting with stronger ad targeting, measurement, and ROI outcomes, according to Summers, while publishers can tap into new audience segments and better monetize existing and often dormant catalogs.

“For Canadian TV streamers, flexibility for the type of entertainment they want, anytime they want, is what makes streaming so appealing,” Summers said in a statement.

When it comes to content, Roku contends live TV is No. 1 with 49% of Canadians watching sports and other events on demand through TV streaming. This trend is up from from 30% using VOD services to stream live TV in 2020.

As ad-supported TV popularity grows, Canadian TV streamers are spending five hours per week streaming (up 14% year-over-year), with the majority (76%) also taking measurable actions such as searching for more information, visiting the brand, adding to basket after seeing targeted ads, according to Roku.

Citing third-party data from MAGNA Media Trials, which suggests targeted video ads are twice as effective as linear TV ads, Roku said that 48% of Canadian streamers under 35 prefer when the tone of a TV ad matches the program in which they see it; and 47% more likely to pay attention to ads that reflect or are relevant to their mood. Some Canadians are also interested in engaging with ad formats such as QR codes.

“TV streamers are more responsive on streaming platforms to ads than non-TV streamers who see ads on TV, which can be attributed to the lighter ad-load through TV streaming,” Summers said.

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