Global online Internet activity and engagement
Canadians are among the most engaged users in the world. According to comScore, Canadians spend more hours online (36.7 per month) than anyone else in the world. Canadian desktop users are also among the most diverse, seeking out an average of 3,238 unique web pages per month.
Device used most often to access the Internet
The majority of Canadians still use a desktop or laptop computer to access the Internet (67%), but those between 18 and 34 are less likely to do so (54%). 41 per cent of Canadian Internet users between 18 and 34 report using a mobile phone to access the Internet most often.
|Tablet (iPad, etc.)||12%||5%||11%||17%|
How Canadians use the Internet – video, audio and common online activities
Email continues to be the number one online activity for Canadians, with most (92%) citing this as a frequent reason for accessing the Internet. Other popular uses include banking (68%), social media (59%) and reading about news or current events (55%). Almost half of all Canadians are now browsing for goods (49%) and shopping online (49%). Among younger Canadians,(18-34 years-old), most watch movies, TV, and video online (59%).
Email continues to be the number one online activity for Canadians.
Percentage of Canadians undertaking online activities
Mobile versus computer activities
ComScore, a major analyst of the digital media market, confirms that smartphone use in Canada continues to grow, with penetration reaching 81 per cent, a six point increase over the previous year.
ComScore also points out that Canadians use smartphones differently than they would desktop technology. The smartphone is the tool of choice for instant messaging (86%), gaming (80%) and social media (69%). Desktops are still used more often for entertainment (57%), online retail (60%) and finding directories or other resources (58%).
Four out of five Canadian mobile phone users now employ a smartphone, according to comScore
Number of Internet-connected devices in Canadian homes
Smartphones are not the only devices taking over Canadian homes. Nine per cent of Canadians report having 10 or more Internet-connected devices in their household, a number that is likely only to rise with the proliferation of smart-home technology and applications.
Hours spent listening to radio or music online
Canadians have embraced online audio products with 68 per cent of Canadians reporting that they listen to online audio of some kind daily.
|Hours per day||Age|
Source: CIRA tracking
|Less than 1 hour||22%||18%||24%||24%|
|More than 12 hours||1%||2%||1%||1%|
Canadians are big viewers of online video, with a quarter of all users streaming one-two hours per day. But age matters. Among young Canadians (18-34), 92 per cent stream video daily, while only two-thirds (67%) of adults over 55-years-old use the Internet to access video content. One-fifth of Canadians don’t stream video online.
Younger adults are also spending more hours streaming online. More than a third (32%) of young adults and nearly one-fifth (19%) of those over 55 watch one-to-two hours per day. Twenty-one per cent of young adults watch up to four hours daily, while just 13 per cent in the older age group stream this much content.
Population’s time spend watching online videos Canada vs. U.S.
Canada versus American online video habits
|Minutes per viewer||1476||1170|
|% of total population||73||64|
The average Canadian viewer spends 1,476 minutes per year streaming online video.
Cord cutting in Canada
As online content becomes readily available, some Canadians are cutting the cord on cable. 76 per cent of Internet users continue to subscribe to cable or satellite television. Those 55+, however, are much more likely than those 18-34 years old to subscribe to cable (89% versus 58%). Young adults are also more likely to consider cutting cable in the future, with 37 per cent saying this is a consideration, compared to the average of 24 per cent. Among all subscribers, 30 per cent say it is likely they will cancel their cable package in the next three months.
Of non-cable subscribers, more than half (55%) said the availability of online material played a role in their decision not to subscribe.
Considering canceling cable in the next 3 months
|Neither likely nor unlikely||25%||29%||27%||17%|
Use of VPN by Canadian Netflix subscribers
Source: CIRA tracking
Canadians are willing to tread into some grey areas to access the online content they want. Almost four-in-ten (38%) Internet users say they subscribe to Netflix. Among Netflix subscribers, 16 per cent admit to using DNS masking or a VPN in order to access Netflix or other online content only available outside the country. DNS masking is highest among 18-34 year olds (21%), those with children under 18 in household (24%) and men (23%).
Canadians are willing to tread on some legal grey areas to access the online content they want.
Do Canadians love online Can-con? Extent to which Canadians seek out Canadian online content
Canadians have some concern for where their content is produced. Few (14%) often seek out Canadian content online, but 60 per cent of users that watch online movies, video and TV at least occasionally seek out Canadian content.
|Often/almost every time||12%||11%||15%||8%|
|Total almost never/never||32%||30%||30%||36%|
60% of Internet users that watch TV/movies/video online at least occasionally seek out Canadian content.
.CA registrant customer satisfaction
.CA is in a somewhat unique position to other ccTLDs. The domain market in North America is more dominated by .com than other markets (given the proliferation of .com, in the United States). However, .CA has taken market-share from .com over the past decade or so, and now accounts for 31% of all domains registered in Canada. CIRA continued to monitor this closely, as recent quarters show some reversal in this trend.
CIRA’s .CA customers overwhelmingly see .CA as a critical resource for Canadians. CIRA continues to carry a public mandate to ensure that .CA is a viable online home for Canadian online businesses, ideas, and ventures that also contributes to the larger project of building a better online Canada.
.CA registrant customer satisfaction
|Year||% Excellent/Good (8-10)|
As previously described, the introduction of 1000+ new gTLDs into an already mature domain market has led to declines in growth across the domain industry. However, CIRA has continued to outpace the global ccTLD growth rates for the past six quarters.
How Canadians use .CA
The .CA team has worked hard to position the .CA domain as a safe, secure, stable, and unquestionably Canadian alternative to other generic domain options.
.CA versus .com for business/personal use
While .com remains the domain of choice for many businesses, for businesses working within Canada, .CA presents a compelling option.
.CA also provides an interesting opportunities for Canadian businesses online. Unequivocally, Canadians have stated they prefer to support Canadian businesses where possible; and they have an affinity for businesses using a .CA, which easily identifies them as Canadian.
Among Internet users in Canada:
79% prefer to support Canadian businesses
68% agree that Canadian businesses should use .ca
60% prefer .ca websites because they are Canadian
Within Canada, .com remains the most popular choice for those registering their domain for business, while .CA is the top choice for personal use.