For a country of around 40 million people, the entertainment market is certainly strong. Revenue from Canadian entertainment and media alone was predicted to grow by $8 billion from 2022 to 2023 to hit $58 billion, according to PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Then, you can bundle in creations and platforms from overseas, like Parasite, to video games made as far away as Poland, like The Witcher III. A big part of that has been the 10.7 percent compound annual growth rate of OTT (Over-the-Top) video.
OTT video growth is one of many digital and online-based forms of entertainment that are currently dominating entertainment in Canada and around the world. In fact, this year, Canadians are expected to use up over 63 trillion megabytes of data online for video content alone. Plus, in recent times, another new form of digital entertainment has entered the fray and enjoyed a hot start to life in Canada. As the weather turns ever colder, more will turn to the cozy comfort of digital entertainment, but which type is the biggest in the country?
Video-on-demand is doing very well in Canada
In the modern realm of movie and show-watching, OTT and SVoD (video streaming) services, there are plenty of figures reported to help find winners in the industry. However, all should be taken with a pinch of salt. This year, SVoD was tipped to eclipse $2.1 billion in revenue in Canada, and there’s a clear frontrunner for that stack of cash. In 2019, Netflix reportedly boasted 70 percent of the online video streaming market share in Canada with 7 million reported users.
Given the prestige of some of its original content, including Stanger Things – which got its very own special live experience – it’s easy to see how Netflix has remained on top. One of the more recent entrants to the game, Disney+, has an estimated 4.4 million subscribers in Canada in 2021. Trying to figure out Prime Video’s share is tougher as it’s bundled in with all of the other services as one subscription. In any case, the more reliable outlets report Netflix being the dominant force in this roughly $2 billion sector of digital entertainment in Canada.
Newest form of digital entertainment has hit the ground running
Streaming platforms are a very new form of entertainment, even newer as a mainstream format than video games or even mobile games. One that’s older than streaming, but wasn’t available until recently, though, seems to have arrived in Canada at the ideal time. Powered by its experience in Europe, a refined creation process, and the affinity for smartphones in new markets, it’s now clear that iGaming can rank among the most popular forms of digital entertainment in Canada.
Importantly, iGaming platforms that have entered Canada’s regulated market have brought with them the most popular online slots real money can be played on. There could have been a case to keep the back catalog and tease out these international hits to enhance the draw through regular new releases. Instead, you’ll already find Cleopatra, The Wild Life, Super Red Phoenix, Mega Moolah, Hall of Gods, and Guns N’ Roses online. This has helped Ontario alone see Year One revenue of $1.4 billion from $35.5 billion total wagers.
Gaming continues to be a staple of Canadian entertainment
Somehow the oldest form of home digital entertainment here, video gaming, is a huge market in Canada. This both goes for its contributions to the nation’s GDP as well as the amount that people spend on video games, consoles, and other such hardware. For GDP and Canada’s contributions to the gaming industry, $5.5 billion of Canada’s GDP came from the video game industry in 2021, with 75 percent of gaming companies in Canada being Canadian-owned.
More importantly, it was found a couple of years ago that over 60 percent of Canadians play video games. This has helped to establish Canada as the eighth-biggest country in the world for video game revenues. With a reported 22 million players, the country contributed $3.3 billion to the global video games market. Mobile games are said to make up around $1.1 billion of that revenue.
As it stands, being a much more premium product, video gaming looks to be beating its fellow forms of popular digital entertainment. Yet, those streaming subscriptions are going up, and password sharing is being quashed.