Online & Digital Media News – 53 per cent of Canadians say they’re streaming more content

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) says Canadians’ use of technology at home has leapt by double-digit percentages amid the COVID-19 pandemic with online video seeing the biggest gain, followed by live TV. According to a CTA survey, conducted Apr. 17-19, 53% of those asked said they are streaming more video content from services like Netflix and Disney+ than they did the previous month, and 46% watching more live TV. 17% are using a new streaming service for the first time and 11% using a new streaming service that offers live TV options such as Crave and YouTube TV. 43% of Canadian households are using video conferencing platforms like Zoom and FaceTime more often now, while nearly half are using social media apps more frequently.

CBC says unique visitors/viewers to CBC Gem in March increased by 43% compared to the previous month, resulting in the highest number of unique visitors/viewers to the streaming service in the past 12 months. CBC Gem also experienced its highest-ever number of video views in March since the launch of the service. Gem’s next Canadian premiere is coming-of-age drama Normal People (12×30, an Element Pictures production for BBC and Hulu), based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel and starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (War of the Worlds, Cold Feet) and newcomer Paul Mescal. Recently launched in the UK and U.S. and touted as one of the best book-to-series adaptations in recent years, the 12-part story will begin streaming May 27, with two new episodes available every Wednesday.

CBC has launched Hello Spring, a four-week Canada-wide digital initiative celebrating the wonders of spring to help Canadians experience the season from the safety and comfort of their homes. Led by filmmaker Jeff Turner (The Wild Canadian Year), the website features the work of some of Canada’s top nature and wildlife cinematographers and a collection of nature livestreams from eagles feeding their young in B.C. and peregrine falcon chicks hatching in Alberta, to the spectacular Northern Lights in Manitoba. Canadians will also be able to share glimpses of spring from their own corners of the country using the hashtag #HelloSpringCBC across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. CBC will collect and highlight the best images and videos on the Hello Spring website. CBC Gem is featuring a #HelloSpring collection, which includes spring-themed lifestyle, documentary and unscripted programming.

Felix & Paul Studios have released two new apps on the Oculus Quest store: the Felix & Paul Studios Portal and Jurassic World Portal. For the first time, the Felix & Paul Studios Portal will bring together the Montreal studio’s catalogue of cinematic virtual reality experiences in one space, beginning with a selection of its most fundamental works, including Strangers with Patrick Watson, one of the first cinematic VR experiences ever made, featuring an intimate glimpse into the studio and process of musician Patrick Watson. The Jurassic World Portal features two of Felix & Paul Studios’ most popular VR experiences – Jurassic World: Apatosaurus and Jurassic World: Blue, allowing viewers to see what it feels like to be in the presence and close proximity of a living dinosaur. In the coming months, additional content will be added to the Felix & Paul Studios Portal, as well as new apps for the growing number of Cirque du Soleil and Space Explorers projects.

Media Technology Monitor’s (MTM) new MTM Junior report, focused on the media behaviour of Canadians aged 2-17, finds that 88% of families with kids in the home have access to at least one over-the-top service (OTT) with Netflix being the most common, followed by Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. While Anglophone families report spending a larger proportion of time co-viewing OTT content (53%) than Francophone families (48%), the latter spend a larger proportion co-viewing traditional TV (51% vs. 49%). Just over eight in 10 children have watched YouTube in the past month, and they’re doing so frequently with 53% watching it daily. Facebook still dominates among Canadian adults (18+). However, Instagram is the most popular social network for Canadian teens (12 to 17) with 67% of them using it.