Mobile Usage Climbing, But Data Costs Still A Hindrance For Widespread Music Streaming Adoption

According to data released Friday by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, 85% of Canadian households now have mobile phones, compared with 79% still with landlines.

The survey has also found more and more Canadians are turning to online video services.

Netflix subscription rates among the 18-to-34 year old age group rose from 29% in 2013 to 58% in 2014. Overall viewing of traditional TV has remained more or less unchanged.

Separately, research firm Statista reports that the majority of mobile phone users in Canada are smartphone users. It is forecasted that 65.5% of mobile phone users will be using smartphones by 2017. Music, media & entertainment and YouTube cumulatively accounted for 14% of time spent on mobile devices, whereas mobile users spent 50% of the time spent on Facebook, gaming and using social media sites.

Again, from the CRTC report, Canadian households spent an average of $203 per month on their communication services, up approximately $12 per month or 6.2% year-over-year. This increase was driven in large part by spending on wireless and Internet services, which rose by 14% and 10%, respectively.

The decisions Canadians are making as consumers, including choosing the packages that best suit their needs, are contributing to how much they spend on their communication services. In many cases, they are opting for faster and larger Internet packages, as well as using more data on their wireless devices.

Pricing remains a deterrent to widespread adoption of fee-based music streaming services, according to report by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), an Ottawa-based consumer advocacy group. There are no figures for how many mobile users are using public Wi-Fi for streaming, but growth figures for music streaming remain relatively small in Canada, with video (which would include services such as Netflix and Shomi) four times that of music streams, according to Nielsen's mid-year Canada report. In the first six months, Nielsen reported on 10.5B on-demand streams with video accounting for 8.4B, and audio a much slimmer 2.1B of the total.

According to trade organization Music Canada, about a third of total revenue from musical sales ($129.707M)  in 2014 came from CD sales; streams (ad supported and subscription) brought in $34M;  Other formats (vinyl, cassettes, DVDs), $15M; Downloads $165.6M, and Other digital revenues ( such as performance rights, synchronization licenses) $622.1K. In total, music sales eaned $376.8M for record companies in Canada last year.

The CRTC reports overall revenue generated by the communications industry grew from $61.9 billion in 2013 to $63.2 billion in 2014, a year-over-year increase of 2.1%.

As it did last year, the CRTC is releasing the Communications Monitoring Report in three parts. In the coming weeks, the Commission will publish data pertaining to the telecommunications sector, followed by information about the broadcasting sector.

Here's comparative data supplied by IFPI in its 2015 global music report with permanent downloads displayed in purple and subscription streaming income in magenta.



























The complete report can be read on FYI here.


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