Marketers Take Note: Live TV the Main Course in Canadian Media Diet

Canadians Primarily Interact With Media by Watching, More than Reading, Listening, Gaming, Browsing or Social Networking

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Toronto, ON – With the Oscars just around the corner, you can bet Canadians will be watching live – no PVR needed! While the media landscape continues to provide endless new ways to watch, listen and browse content, Canadians mainly engage with live television. Ipsos’ Canadian Media Landscape study (a study designed to support marketers as they strive to connect with target consumers in the new media landscape), shows that watching takes the top spot in the Canadian media diet, accounting for 50% of their total media hours yesterday. More specifically, that represents 2.8 hours of a total of 5.6 hours spent with media (all forms combined). What is particularly important for Advertisers is that 1.4 of those hours are spent watching TV as it is airing live.

The latest results highlight the proportion of all time spent with media in the average Canadian’s day and details findings regarding their habits. While media covers a wide range of content and platforms (watching, listening, reading, gaming, browsing, and social networking), watching still reigns supreme. Watching includes any content that is consumed via Live TV, PVR, streamed or downloaded, video on demand or on disc. The study also outlines differences by generation.

“It is no surprise there are differences in how each generation engages with media. We intuitively feel and observe that Millennials engage with media differently than other generations. The Canadian Media Landscape Study confirms this, but uncovers more nuance” says Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid in Toronto.

Among the key generational differences revealed by the Canadian Media Landscape Study, Millennials watch less in general, spending only 39% (2.2 hours) of their media hours in this fashion compared to 49% (2.5 hours) for Gen Xers and 57% (3.4 hours) for Boomers. But there is more to it when we dig further into older and younger Millennials and the specific formats they watch. Trailing Millennials, that is, 18-24 year olds, watch the least amount of Live TV among the generations, but it is still part of their media repertoire (7% of their total media hours). Their older counterparts, Leading Millennials (25–32 year olds), spend twice as much time with Live TV relatively speaking (16% of their media hours). Marketers need to be aware of these inter-generational differences. Leading Millennials in some ways are closer in life stage to younger Gen Xers as they become more focused on careers and family. Not only does this mean they are earning more than Trailing Millennials, but it also influences how much time they spend with media and how they consume it.

“Brands need to recognize they could be missing the mark by considering Millennials as a whole – Trailing and Leading Millennials do vary in their media behavior. And Brands also need to be cautious. From our perspective, any consideration that is being given to walking away from TV advertising entirely could very well be short sighted” adds Barbour. “That said, Trailing Millennials spend more time browsing, gaming and social networking than any other segment - important fodder for any marketer.”

View this page to learn more about Ipsos’ Canadian Media Landscape:

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted from June – December 2014. This online survey of 11,300 Canadian adults (18+) was conducted via the Ipsos Online Panel, one of Ipsos Reid's national online panels. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/-1.1 percentage points had all Canadians adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Mary Beth Barbour
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid
(416) 572-4409

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services
Ipsos in North America
(778) 373-5136

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, health and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, visit

Marketers Take Note:  Live TV the Main Course in Canadian Media Diet


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America

Mary Beth Barbour
Senior Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing