Our Operating Environment
New technologies are changing the way Canadians access content. Alternative content providers have emerged, increasing competition through the introduction of new – and constantly evolving – products and services in the Canadian market. All at a time when the industry's policy framework needs to be reviewed to keep pace. This has created significant market uncertainty, yet CBC/Radio-Canada continues to push forward to better serve Canadians in a digital world.
THE DIGITAL CITIZEN IS EMBRACING THE ONLINE WORLD
Canadians continue to engage with content by accessing it on many devices and sharing it across many platforms. Media consumption patterns are evolving and Canadians are more connected than ever, thanks to the proliferation of digital devices and platforms. In fact, 30% of Canadians now own four digital screens and, on average, these Canadians spend 27 hours a week consuming content across these devices, which is six hours a week higher than the average Canadian.1
- HOW CANADIANS ARE CONSUMING MEDIA
- Fall 2011: 68%
- Fall 2014: 78%
- Fall 2017: 83%
- Fall 2011: 55%
- Fall 2014: 62%
- Fall 2017: 69%
- Fall 2011: 33%
- Fall 2014: 49%
- Fall 2017: 61%
- Fall 2011: 10%
- Fall 2014: 33%
- Fall 2017: 49%
Canadians age 18 and older
Watched Internet video:
Listened to online audio:
Watched Internet TV:
Growth in usage of online audio and video content also continues as options and choices increase. Almost half of Canadians have access to Netflix and many others watch or listen to the array of online offerings currently available. In the fall of 2017, 61% of Canadians watched TV on the Internet and 69% listened to audio online.1 In the future, the growth in adoption of smart, voice-activated assistants will further expand and build experiences for audiences.
A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY
Canada has one of the most concentrated media markets in the world. 83% of Canadian market revenues go to the top five domestic players (Bell, Quebecor, Rogers, TELUS and Shaw/Corus).2 These highly vertically integrated companies have interests in distribution, broadcast and content creation. These companies are regulated and are required to contribute to the support and creation of Canadian content, helping to ensure the overall health and diversity of the Canadian media industry.
Yet competition among these players within our borders is no longer the major challenge. Large global players – operating unregulated services that aren't contributing financially to the Canadian media ecosystem – have entered the market and are threatening its foundation. These companies are not simply distributors of content; they are major investors in and creators of content, substantially increasing production budgets. They have access to combined potential markets 100 times greater than that of Canada and can use economies of scale to monetize their programming and infrastructure investments. They have access to massive amounts of data, allowing them to effectively develop and curate content for their audiences. All of this makes it harder for domestic regulated companies to compete.3
In addition, competition is expected to increase as more services and content (both audio and video) are being made available online. Smart TVs, Internet-connected devices, virtual Broadcast Distribution Undertakings, direct-to-consumer models and user-generated content will continue to expand and increase offerings in the online world.
MODERNIZING COMMUNICATIONS POLICY IN CANADA
No industry or organization can ignore the opportunities and disruptions of evolving digital technologies or the transformation in how Canadians are embracing and engaging with them. The communications industry is no exception.
The existing communication policy and regulatory framework has not been revised since the Broadcasting Act was last updated in 1991. The arrival of global players into the system with services, distribution platforms and content offerings challenges the current regulatory framework. This, and other changes, has led to a re-examination of the broadcasting landscape. From the review of policy, to the assessment of future models, to setting a new vision and approach for the creative industries, the government is working to bring public policy on broadcasting into the digital age.
CBC/Radio-Canada recognizes that the policy framework in which we operate needs to be reviewed to address the changing media environment and to continue to strengthen Canadian culture.
Placing the national public broadcaster at the heart of a modern communications policy framework should be an important goal.
CBC/RADIO-CANADA IS TRANSFORMING
With our Strategy 2020, we are addressing this digital shift by evolving with Canadians to deliver content where and when they want it. CBC/Radio-Canada continues to reach the vast majority of Canadians (86%) on a monthly basis by whatever means they prefer, through our TV, radio and online offerings in English, French and eight Indigenous languages.
We will continue to learn, iterate, transform and innovate. The next section highlights our strategic focus to increase and deepen our engagement with Canadians.