TV strikes back: rise of digital devices drives new viewing habits among Canadians

  • Three quarters of internet users globally still watch TV daily
  • 34% Canadians 'screen-stack' while watching TV
  • Nearly 85% Canadians now watch online video on a digital device

TORONTO, July 10, 2014 /CNW/ - While Canadians' love affair with television endures, TV sets alone are no longer enough to satisfy our appetite for content, driving the growth of online media and 'screen-stacking' - the use of multiple digital devices at the same time, according to global research consultancy TNS.

Connected Life, a survey of over 55,000 internet users worldwide, found that almost half of people globally (48%) who watch TV simultaneously engage in other digital activities, such as using social media, checking their emails or shopping online. And Canadians are clearly the multi-taskers – TNS found that 34% engage in 'screen-stacking' weekly while watching TV in the evening.

The average Canadian owns over four digital devices each, rising to five among Australian, German and UK respondents. This, combined with demand for TV and video content on-the-go, is fuelling the rise of multi-screening or 'screen-stacking'.

The desire for immediate access of our favourite TV shows at all hours of the day is also driving online TV usage, which extends our access to them. A quarter (25%) of those surveyed watch content on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile daily. Out of nearly 85% Canadians who view online video, 24% access video content online on a daily basis while almost 60% do so weekly. Mainland China and Singapore are at 33% and 32% in Hong Kong daily, where 'phablets' are increasingly popular.

Yet despite this surge in online consumption, traditional TV sets still play a huge part in our lives with 72.8% Canadians (75% globally) sitting in front of the box daily. TV dinners are also alive and well, with three out of four viewers (76%) giving TV their undivided attention while eating in the evening.

Many of the big global media companies are already taking advantage of growing online viewing trends, offering on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu or HBO GO, which allow people to access premium content wherever they are through their phones or tablets.

Commenting on the findings, Berkeley Scott, Managing Director Canada West & VP - Digital & Mobile Media at TNS, said:

"Multi-tasking has become norm, and with it our consumers' attention to a single task has greatly decreased, including watching TV. Growing demand for content accelerates the growth of screen-stacking and online TV viewing. While traditional TV viewing is not going anywhere, especially around family gathering times, advertisers are facing new challenges and must adapt strategically to our changing viewing habits. To engage customers in this new digital advertising era, brands must adopt a more integrated online approach".

Notes to editors

About Connected Life

Connected Life is a leading global study of the digital attitudes and behaviours of over 55,000 internet users across 50 countries, exploring how technology is transforming the lives of consumers across the world. It offers essential insight into the impact of the growing digital ecosystem on the media landscape.

Connected Life also uncovers new and exciting opportunities for marketers to connect with their consumers in this increasingly complex environment; it is a powerful tool that helps brands make better digital decisions.

The fieldwork was undertaken in all markets between March and June 2014.

For further information, visit

About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and customer and employee relationships, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world's consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit for more information.

About Kantar

Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 27,000 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at

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For further information: Berkeley Scott, 604-612-2210,


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