At present, the Canadian online video market remains very complex: each service has a different approach and is at a different stage of development. As a result, there are no accepted or proven business models to pave the way.
"Innovation will continue to drive this market," said Emily Taylor, Consumer Technology & Services analyst at IDC Canada. "The introduction of new devices and new platforms -- including consumer cloud services -- will strengthen services as well."
Competition will only get more intense, given that major brands like Walmart are active in the U.S with online video services -- with its VUDU offering -- and it is only a matter of time before they enter the Canadian market.
In the Index, IDC evaluates Canadian online video services across four factors: availability, content, user base, and price. The services assessed in this study were selected as they are content aggregate and distribution sites, available in Canada, that require consumers to pay to access full-length, premium content.
A total of 11 services were profiled in this study.
Other key findings from the study include the following:
- One size does not fit all -- For some consumers, one or two pieces of content online per month will be suitable; while others will rely on these services for much of their programming. This presents a dilemma to providers – cater to all or risk losing out on one or the other group.
- Device Partnerships Key -- Partnering with device makers to include support on TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, gaming systems, and DVRs will increase reach, as will increasing mobile device platform support. Providing this support for all content across multiple devices – seamlessly – will create a strong service.
- Traditional Pay-TV Services Will Continue Their Evolution -- All online video services rely on the Internet, and this places service providers in a powerful position. It is expected over time that Canadian household penetration of broadband Internet will outpace pay-TV services.