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Canada Time Spent with Media 2020

COVID-19 Will Push Media Time to Unexpected Levels

About This Report
After reaching an expected saturation point last year, daily media time in Canada will climb further this year based on our latest forecasts. COVID-19 has driven up demand for media while people are quarantined at home, which will impact our full-year forecast.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Our 2019 forecast for time spent with media in Canada concluded that daily media time had reached a saturation point. We had expected media time to flatten out at 9 hours, 50 minutes daily for the coming years. But COVID-19 has changed the calculus for 2020.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected total time spent with media?

We expect total media time in Canada to be 10 hours, 24 minutes daily this year, over a half-hour more than we previously predicted. The average is being driven up by heavy media usage in Q2, after global quarantines were ordered.

What does this mean for digital time?

Digital’s share of total media time will accelerate as traditional formats—with the exception of TV—take a hit during the pandemic. Well over half of total media time is with digital this year.

How much is TV time increasing as people stay home?

TV time will increase by an estimated 10 minutes in 2020. This reverses a long-standing trend of slightly declining time spent and audiences for linear TV year after year. We expect TV’s level of media share to return to a downward trajectory post-pandemic.

What formats stand to lose share of media time?

Print and radio will be hardest hit. These formats were in steady decline prior to COVID-19, which has surfaced new conditions that will accelerate their declines.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers our new forecast for consumer time spent with media in Canada, factoring in the impact of COVID-19 on our latest estimates.

KEY STAT: Digital now accounts for 53.3% of total media time spent in Canada (5 hours, 32 minutes), pushed even higher than previously expected due to digital media preferences during COVID-19.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Lockdowns Give Media Consumption a Boost
  3. What’s Driving Shifting Media Habits
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  1. Media Gallery


Paul Briggs


Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Vincent Yip
Forecasting Analyst
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